The establishment of the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ on 19 August was announced through a tweet from the handle of its official spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid. The common wisdom in India is that terrorist threats to India would increase because Afghanistan will be used as a haven, as it happened during the earlier period of the Taliban rule in 1996-2001 with the hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane in December 1999 being a prime example.
The only problem is that this time around India’s vulnerability has exponentially increased, not so much by the increase in the scale of threat as by India’s domestic political trajectory, which may have set itself up. It would not take much for India’s adversaries to light the fire that exploits modern India’s historically rooted communal fault line.
The setup was symbolised through the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India would observe 14 August as ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’. Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran described the announcement as a move aimed “to reopen the wounds of yesteryear, to reignite ugly passions, where past horrors are regurgitated so they may be re-enacted with renewed passion”.