‘Same Taliban’ that existed 20 years ago, India prepared to tackle ‘overflow of terror activity’: CDS Rawat

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, on Wednesday said that the swift move with which the Taliban took over Afghanistan has surprised the security establishment. Adding that the Taliban is ‘the same’, Rawat said that the Indian security set-up is prepared to deal with the side-effects of the Taliban takeover in India.

Speaking at an ORF event – ‘The India-US Partnership: Securing the 21st Century’, Rawat said that the events in Afghanistan were anticipated.

“News reports and news from ex-pats who have come from there are all telling us the kind of activities that Taliban is into. All that has happened is that the partners have now changed. It’s the same Taliban with different partners,” Rawat said in New Delhi.

Taliban’s move swift: Rawat

Rawat said that the move was expected a couple of months down the line, but added that the Taliban that has taken over Kabul now is the same group that existed 20 years ago.

“We were concerned about how terrorist activity from Afghanistan could overflow into India and so to that extent our contingency planning had been ongoing and we’re prepared for that… Everything that has happened was something that had been anticipated, only the timelines have changed. From the Indian perspective, we were anticipating the Taliban takeover of #Afghanistan,” Rawat further said.

India has, on global platforms, stressed that a stable Afghanistan is crucial for regional peace. New Delhi is, however, watching the situation closely and further diplomatic response to the developments in Kabul is still work-in-progress. Speaking to reporters in New York, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had recently said that given the fact that the Taliban and its representatives have come to Kabul, India will ‘need to take it on from there’.


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