New Delhi (Sputnik): Afghanistan is fast becoming the new hub for Daesh* following the militant group's defeat in the Middle East. Apart from the Taliban* leaders and their supporters who have defected to Daesh, fighters fleeing Syria and Iraq are also heading to the war-ravaged country. In a new video released online, Daesh has appealed to its sympathizers from across the globe to migrate to Afghanistan.
Sputnik spoke to Qamar Agha, Indian security analyst and a keen observer of West Asian affairs, on the ramifications of Daesh's new strategy.
Sputnik: In the new video Daesh has asked sympathizers to come to Afghanistan. How do you see this development?
Qamar Agha: Daesh is not only calling on its sympathizers but they are calling on their cadres to come to Afghanistan.
Daesh is desperate as they have lost their territories in Iraq and Syria, particularly where the Russians are after them. Moreover, Syria and Iran have clubbed their forces and have defeated Daesh. However, Daesh is still trying to show that they are a vibrant force, still alive, requesting their cadres to move to Afghanistan.
But it would not be easy for Daesh cadres to move to Afghanistan without the support of Pakistan as this country is their only safe access to landlocked Afghanistan. Other neighboring countries, such as Iran and Afghanistan's Central Asian neighbors will not allow Daesh to move via their territory. Earlier, Daesh sympathizers and their cadres could manage to enter Syria due to support from Turkey at that time. Now I don't think it will be possible for them. Secondly, after the defeat of Daesh in Syria, there is a feeling among the sympathizers, especially among the youth, that militancy cannot deliver and that an Islamic State of this nature is not viable. Still many of [the] cadres and sympathizers who came from Europe or from many Asian countries are in Turkey and they know they cannot go back to their respective countries; therefore, an attempt is being made to bring them to Afghanistan.
Sputnik: Do you think that Daesh has found a fertile ground in Afghanistan's Khorasan region?
Qamar Agha: The ground is fertile. There are a large number of militants who were earlier fighting in Iraq and Syria. They are on the run and they could make an attempt to reach Afghanistan. But reaching Afghanistan will not be an easy task for them and to do so has to be in collaboration with Pakistan. Some of the militant organizations based on the Afghanistan — Pakistan border area might help them infiltrate Afghanistan. The situation is already out of control in Afghanistan.
Sputnik: How will this impact India?
Qamar Agha: It will pose a threat not only to India, but China also. Afghanistan is too close to India, if Daesh gets a foothold in Afghanistan then they could come to Kashmir also. They will reach Kashmir via Pakistan and it will be a very serious threat to India. But Indian forces are quite capable of handling militancy. I am sure they will manage.
*Daesh and the Taliban are terrorist groups banned in Russia.
The views and opinions expressed by Speaker in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the position of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.