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In an interesting development Russia and the US swiped their role over Afghanistan

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New Delhi, Nov 19: For the peace of South Asia and Central Asian region if Pakistan has its role to play by stopping cross border terrorism then Afghanistan too needs to rein in terrorists but they have always been so important entity that they were part of the peace negotiations. But the most interesting development that has taken place is a kind of role reversal for the US and Russia which have swiped their role on Afghanistan.

Trump

India has always been at the receiving end on the issue of terrorism but globally there is a role reversal kind of situation of the top world power on Afghanistan. So the situation is that players are the same, geographical region is the same but role of the top world players is changed.

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Strategic expert Indrani Talukdar told Oneindia, "In the present scenario in Afghanistan, Russia is in a key role with Taliban being as an important player. The US is vying for peace in the region with its interest in the region but the US does not seem to be as strong as it was during the time when Muzahiddins were ruling the roost in the country. Then there was a time when the US played a key role in this region in general and Afghanistan in particular but the then Soviet Union was not as strong and Mujahiddins were negotiating by every means."

At the moment, Russia has not only started asserting itself but also getting stronger in the region militarily and otherwise. It is well known fact that Russia has been cultivating relations with Taliban to increase its influence in the region for long. Russian engagement with militants drew some flak, when Russia invited Taliban representatives to Moscow for a meeting but it was canceled after the Afghan government objected to it.

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Indrani Talukdar said, "Russia has not only emerged militarily very strong but it is in a better shape than in the past while the US seems to be little frail at least on this issue so there is a kind of role reversal for both Russia and the US with Russia getting stronger and assertive by the day." There is no denying the fact that every one has its own interest in the region.

Actually Moscow has been seeking to reclaim its role in the region, convening secret discussions. It is part of a strategy to protect Russia's southern flank from the Islamic State's emergence in Central Asia and hedge against the possibility of an abrupt US exit from Afghanistan after 17 years of war.

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The Russian ploy is a relatively modest political investment that could yield outsize dividends as Moscow seeks to prove its global heft. Supporting the Taliban in a small way is an insurance policy for the future. As Russia has increased its profile, there have been unsubstantiated allegations that Russia has provided small arms to the Taliban. Russia has denied the accusations. There had been many similar intriguing allegations against the US as well.

Russia is trying to strengthen its own position without provoking anyone. Russia's return comes as the Trump administration struggles to reverse a prolonged Taliban resurgence and push the militants toward a deal. While a more expansive military mission has helped Afghan forces defend populated areas, vast swaths of the country still remain under Taliban control.

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