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Amid US military drawdown, new terror axis emerges in Afghan-Pak theatre

ANI | Updated: Jul 25, 2021 05:06 IST

Tel Aviv [Israel], July 25 (ANI): With the US troops drawdown from Afghanistan on the verge of completion, a new terror axis is emerging in the Afghan-Pak geopolitical theatre with the convergence of interests between Pakistan, China and Turkey.
Amid the Taliban's increasing grip over Afghanistan, Pakistan has dropped all pretensions of being an ally of the US led-western countries despite the much-needed American safety net on key issues that have a direct impact on its economy.
Writing for The Times of Israel, foreign policy expert Fabien Baussart said the emergence of a new axis became clear towards the end of June when Pakistan rolled back its commitments for IMF bailout. Later, Imran Khan went to the town declaring that his ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would not give any base to the American forces."
In recent weeks, even the Taliban have since played down China's concerns on the Uyghur Muslims issue. Beijing believes that under Taliban rule, Afghanistan will become a hub for the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM).
"We will no longer allow China's Uyghur separatist fighters (from Xinjiang)." Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said in a widely circulated interview. Taliban spokesperson admitted that some Uyghur had previously sought refuge in Afghanistan. He, however, promised not to host them.

According to Baussart, the Taliban can be as duplicitous as their patrons. "Well, China may hope to leverage its money power against any likelihood of a breach in the promise by the Taliban; such a hope, even after its Pakistan experience, exposes its inability not to look beyond the nose."
Baussart further argued that Turkey fits into the new terror axis. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become the helmsman of Islamists with his aim to attain the leadership of the Muslim world and revive the Ottoman glory.
"He became a darling of Communist China by targeting the Uyghur who have taken shelter in his country. Erdogan hopes to take over the security of the Kabul airport so as to keep it safe from Taliban sway in the days ahead. It will be the first step to spread Turkish influence over more territories in Afghanistan where Turkey has had a presence as part of NATO forces. It is another matter whether it is realistic or imaginary," he said.
From all accounts, Baussarts stated that China seeks to fill the unfolding void in Afghanistan. "It is ready with cash and weapons that the Taliban may need in case the nationalist forces try to checkmate its expansion within the country."
All the three - Turkey, China and Pakistan are eying Afghanistan primarily for its metals, minerals, and other natural wealth, Baussart concluded. (ANI)