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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Explained.Live: Gautam Mukhopadhaya to answer questions on Taliban takeover and India’s options ahead

The world is watching to see what exactly that means given their past record of extreme persecution of women and ethnic minorities, and the presence of a smorgasbord of terrorist groups on its soil.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 23, 2021 7:44:50 am
Explained.Live: Gautam Mukhopadhaya to answer questions on Taliban takeover and India’s options aheadQuestions abound about the implications of Afghanistan's takeover by the martial religious extremist group that recognises only its own interpretation of Sharia. (AP)

The swift takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban almost exactly 20 years after they were militarily ousted by the United States forces in response to the 9/11 attacks, has shocked the world.

After their victory, the Taliban, whose previous stint as rulers of Afghanistan from 1996-2001 is remembered as a reign of terror and medieval brutality, are now involved in setting up a government to rule over the country once again.

At a first press conference last week, they said that it would be an “inclusive Islamic government”.

The world is watching to see what exactly that means given their past record of extreme persecution of women and ethnic minorities, and the presence of a smorgasbord of terrorist groups on its soil.

Many thousands of Afghans are not waiting to find out. They have been flocking to Kabul airport since August 15, the day President Ashraf Ghani vacated his office and left the country, hoping to be rescued by the United States or any other foreign government evacuating its own citizens.

Questions abound about the implications of Afghanistan’s takeover by the martial religious extremist group that recognises only its own interpretation of Sharia, has close relations with Pakistan’s ISI and Army, and has not cut off ties with al-Qaeda.

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What are the consequences for Afghanistan, the world and the region?

What are India’s foreign policy options? Should it engage with a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan?

What is Pakistan’s relationship with the Taliban, and how does that affect India’s relationship with both countries?

Will the Taliban takeover have a spillover in Kashmir in any way?

To answer these questions and many more, The Indian Express has invited Gautam Mukhopadhaya, who was India’s ambassador to Afghanistan from 2010 to 2013 as the Expert Guest at Monday’s session of Explained. Live, The Indian Express series of unique explanatory conversations.

Ambassador Mukhopadhaya will be in conversation with The Indian Express National Editor Nirupama Subramanian, who has reported on Indian foreign policy and the neighbourhood for several decades.

The event will begin at 6 pm. A limited number of audience questions will also be taken. Details of registration are in the box alongside.

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