Monday, 17 April 2017



NEW DELHI: India is assessing(मूल्यांकन) the fallout of the use of "mother of all bombs" by America against the Islamic State cell near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border ahead of the visit of US national security advisor HR McMaster to the region including India. The episode will figure prominently (प्रमुखता से) during McMaster’s visit to Delhi this weekend after his trip to Af-Pak region, people familiar with the developments said. The visit will provide India an opportunity to understand US’ future plans for Afghanistan, which did not appear to be a priority for the Trump Presidency until Thursday’s air strikes. India, on its part, will drive home the issue of threats from Taliban and its safe havens (बंदरगाह) in Pakistan, said one of the persons, who did not wish to be identified.

The US on Thursday dropped a GBU-43 bomb, the largest non-nuclear device it has ever unleashed(फैलाया) in combat, on a network of caves and tunnels used by Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan. The area targeted by the American armed forces was visited by a few Indians indoctrinated by the Islamic State in the past. Incidentally, 23-year-old TK Murshid Mohamed from Kerala, who allegedly joined the Islamic State, was killed on Thursday in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, where the US dropped the bombs.

It is not clear if Mohamed was killed in the US strike. Mohamed’s family apparently received a message from another IS recruit from Kerala about his death. Mohamed hailed from an educated upper-middle-class family and his father has a business in Dubai. Two months ago, another man from Kerala, Hafeezuddin (24), was killed in a drone attack in Afghanistan.

At least 21 persons from northern Kerala, including three children and four women, joined the Islamic State last year. Most of these people were educated and hailed from upper-middle-class families, and some of them went to Afghanistan. The issue of US’ use of the largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan also figured in Friday’s 11 nation talks in Moscow hosted by Russia.

India, along with the hosts, China, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and five Central Asian states were part of this dialogue aimed at stabilizing(स्थिर) the landlocked country. Russia refused to include Taliban in the discussions, which were restricted to government officials.

The spread of Islamic State to Afghanistan has been a cause of concern for all regional countries as well as big powers. India maintains that Taliban and its mentor across the border must be checked for peace to return to Afghanistan.

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