The Biden administration has sent Secretary of State Antony Blinken to India for talks involving international affairs, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the country’s role in Afghanistan after the U.S. has completed its withdrawal.
Blinken acknowledged on July 28 that the situation in Afghanistan is headed downhill, with the Taliban “making advances” and calling reports of atrocities “deeply, deeply troubling.” He warned of an international response if statements are proven to be true of a local government that “does not respect the rights of its people, an Afghanistan that commits atrocities against its people.”
Blinken said, “The Taliban says that it seeks international recognition, that it wants international support for Afghanistan,” and that there’s “only one path” to that recognition, “and that’s at the negotiating table.”
Based on new reports, it doesn’t seem likely that the Taliban is interested in standard negotiations, with claims circulating of execution of surrendering Afghani soldiers and government officials.
Other troubling reports indicate that the Taliban is talking directly with the Chinese. China appears to be interested in seeking Taliban assistance in getting rid of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which China describes as an “international terrorist organization.”
China has also been using the ETIM’s activities in Xinjiang as justification for the communist crackdown on the Uighurs.
Blinken said in his press conference that he believes that China’s involvement in Afghanistan could be “a positive thing.” He based that on the hope that China is working on a “peaceful resolution of the conflict” and will facilitate a “truly representative and inclusive” Afghanistan regime.
“No one has an interest in a military takeover of the country by the Taliban, the restoration of an Islamic emirate,” he said.
NBC News reports that attacks against the Afghan military and civilians have significantly increased in recent months.
China may be getting into more than it bargains for in Afghanistan, as have numerous global powers over the past decades. India’s complicated relationship with Pakistan is also sure to add to the tensions in the region with an increased Chinese presence. The Taliban resurgence is felt like an exceptionally positive development in Pakistan, a longtime Taliban supporting state.