Afghanistan Taliban News:Joe Biden To Break Silence On Afghanistan In Address To Nation Tonight

Thomas (Special correspondent)

The spectre of the collapse of the Ashraf Ghani government of Afghanistan and the takeover by the ragtag group of Taliban,even while the United States has left the country to its miserable fate, is increasingly driving a nail in many bilateral and multilateral arrangements between Kabul and the world.

Undoubtedly,the most hurt would be India and its much-vaunted project of the Chabahar Port in Iran’s east, which was meant to allow New Delhi an opportunity to side-step Pakistan and take the land route to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Dream gone sour

Now Chabahar, from Iran and India’s perspective, seems like a dead investment a dream gone sour.

Indians just took too much time to complete the project,claimed an Iranian source.Now,changed circumstances and alternative connectivity routes are being conjured up by other countries to make Chabahar irrelevant.

He may be right.

Much of the blame for the slow pace at which the Chabahar project progressed should rest on India and its over-cautious attitude.

The current government in Delhi did not want to do anything to antagonise the US government after it had imposed sanctions on Iran.

Now, the Americans have partnered with Uzbekistan,Afghanistan and Pakistan to make a new connectivity corridor!

So where does it leave India?

Ironically, India’s Chabahar engagement,though old,gained momentum after former United States President Barack Obama ended sanctions against Iran and signed the nuclear deal.

His successor,Donald Trump,had other ideas.He, rather unceremoniously,cancelled the deal and clamped claustrophobic sanctions on Iran,but gave freedom to India to carry on with the project as it benefited Afghanistan.

The Indian government,through the periodic visits of its Foreign Minister,S Jaishankar,and other officials,has routinely expressed its commitment to complete the project.However,the Iranians have a different story to tell.

And it is not a happy story with a happy ending.

Changing geopolitics

Not only did India baulk at its promise to provide a line of credit in 2018 to build the railway route from Chabahar to Zahedan,the Indian company that is supposed to build and manage port Shahid Behesti,India Port Global,is a leaderless entity that is in a state of drift.

Iranian sources allege that there is a conscious attempt by China,which is furiously building its Gwadar project in the Gulf of Oman,and,now,the US,to puncture Chabahar.

Or else,what was the reason that the US should announce a connectivity project in Tashkent with Uzbekistan,Afghanistan and Pakistan that does not include Iran or India?

India will help members of Afghanistan’s tiny Sikh and Hindu community to come to India,the foreign ministry said on Monday.

We are in constant touch with the representatives of Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities.We will facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan,foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.

India invested millions of dollars in development projects in Afghanistan and Bagchi said the government stood by the Afghans who had partnered it in that task.

Meanwhile,S Jaishankar tried to sell the idea of building connectivity through Chabahar and aligning it with the Russian-backed North-South Corridor.However,it seems that the mood at the Tashkent conference has changed.

Significantly,the Uzbeks revealed that they had good relations with the Taliban and could work closely with them.

US President,Joe Biden will address the nation on the situation in Afghanistan at 1.15 am IST on Tuesday.

US soldiers killed two armed men at Kabul’s airport Monday as thousands of people flocked to the terminal seeking to flee Afghanistan, a Pentagon official said.

In the thousands of people who were there peacefully, two guys who had weapons brandished them menacingly.They were both killed,the official said,insisting on anonymity.

Hungary Slams US Decision |

A Hungarian official on Monday criticized the pullout of American-led forces from Afghanistan and said Hungary will not take in refugees fleeing the country after its takeover by the Taliban. Levente Magyar, a state secretary with Hungary’s foreign ministry, told news agency that the government would not make Hungarians pay for the “flawed geopolitical decision of the U.S.

Military withdrawal by accepting refugees without any kind of restrictions.Hungary’s right-wing government is a staunch opponent of immigration,and in 2015 built a fence along its southern border in response to an influx of refugees from the Middle East and Africa.

US Sending 1,000 More Troops to Kabul Airport |

The U.S.military is sending another battalion of about 1,000 troops to help safeguard the Kabul airport as American forces killed two armed individuals there during a chaotic evacuation. That’s according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby,who briefed reporters on Monday.

The development is a sign of the ongoing turmoil and violence as thousands of Afghans rushed onto the tarmac of Kabul’s international airport following a swifter-than-expected Taliban takeover of the country.

International Community ‘Misjudged’ Afghanistan: German Minister |

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Monday admitted NATO allies had underestimated the speed of the Taliban’s advance across Afghanistan and failed to anticipate that Afghan forces were not ready to take up the fight.

There is no talking this up.All of us the federal government,intelligence services,the international community misjudged the situation,Maas told a press conference in Berlin.

The allies had not reckoned with the possibility that the Afghan armed forces were not prepared to confront the Taliban,Maas said.That was a misjudgement on the part of all of us.

IAF Evacuates 45 Indians From Kabul Mission, More Await Rescue: Sources

An Indian Air Force aircraft arrived in New Delhi today from Kabul with some 45 Indians, including the embassy staff posted there.

Meanwhile,The first plane from Kabul lands at Ghaziabad Hindon Air Base,more than 200 passengers have returned home in the first flight.