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Question #1. With the coming of power of Taliban in Afghanistan, drug trafficking may become the most potent security threat for the region. Explain the linkages between drug trafficking and terrorism in context of Afghanistan and discuss how Afghan drug trade can affect the security scenario of the region including India.
Question #2. The failure of Indian state in tackling left wing extremism lies in its inability to understand the appeal of Maoist movement in tribal heartland. Critically examine.
(Examiner will pay special attention to the candidate's grasp of his/her material, its relevance to the subject chosen, and to his/ her ability to think constructively and to present his/her ideas concisely, logically and effectively).
Question #.1 With the coming of power of Taliban in Afghanistan, drug trafficking may become the most potent security threat for the region. Explain the linkages between drug trafficking and terrorism in context of Afghanistan and discuss how Afghan drug trade can affect the security scenario of the region including India.
- Introduce by giving a background of drug problem of Afghanistan. (40 words).
- Discuss how drug trafficking and terrorism are related and how it affects India’s security. (170 words).
- (40 words).
Afghanistan has been one of the largest opioid producers in the world and according to the latest UNODC figures over 224000-hectare area is used for opium production in Afghanistan in 2020. Although poppy cultivation is done in Afghanistan for centuries, it acquired a geo-political dimension after coming to power of Taliban in Afghanistan in mid-90s.
Linkage of drug trafficking and terrorism:
- Drug trade has been the primary source of Taliban income since the last two decades since Afghanistan alone has been accounted for 84% of the global opium production since last five years according to UNODC. Taliban with the help of Pakistan ISI has developed market linkages in countries of Europe, south Asia, middle east, Africa and north America for supply of opium.
- In last few years Taliban has also invested in production of methamphetamine and according to UNODC, Taliban controls 60% of key meth producing labs in provinces of Farah and Nimruz. Methamphetamine because of its low-cost production has proven to be highly beneficial for Taliban.
- Credible reports estimate Taliban annual earnings from drug trade to be in between around 100- 400 million $US. This drug money has been used by Taliban to buy latest arms and ammunition, pay off new recruits and runs Madrassa who preach extremist ideologies.
Effect on India’s security scenario:
- The recent capture of 2.7 billion $ US worth of heroine which is originated in Afghanistan by DRI (directorate of revenue intelligence) from the Mundra port shows the close link between drug market in India and its production centers.
- As the current Taliban regime is in international isolation currently, security experts estimate that it will rely on opium production to manage its finances hence there can be high influx of opium and heroines in countries like India in near term.
- Also given the close link between Taliban and Pakistan, security analyst believe that Pakistan can use the drug network to funnel arms and illegal money in Kashmir to destabilize the valley.
- Being a landlocked country Afghanistan depends upon transit check points with countries like Iran, Uzbekistan for trade. Taliban has used this transit routes for drug trafficking and with their complete control over Afghanistan, these check points will be closed for countries like India. This will further affect the viability of our Chabahar port operations.
Given that Taliban is now a reality in Afghanistan, India will have to heightened its vigil at both land and coastal borders so that our land cannot be used for drug transit and trafficking. At the same point India has to coordinate with like-minded countries so as to put pressure on both Taliban and Pakistan to permanently end the drug economy from Afghanistan.
Question #.2 The failure of Indian state in tackling left wing extremism lies in its inability to understand the appeal of Maoist movement in tribal heartland. Critically examine.
- Give a background of Maoist movement in India. (40 words).
- Discuss the various dimensions of Maoist movement and Indian state response to it. (170 words).
- (40 words).
In India formal origins of left-wing extremism (LWE) has been traced back to Naxalbari uprising of 1967 which has been rooted in peasant discontent. After several ruptures LWE got new lease of life in 2004 when people’s war group operating in Andhra Pradesh and Maoist communist center operating in Bihar merged to form communist party of India Maoist under the leadership of Koteshwara Rao alias Kishenji. According to latest figures 90 districts in 11 states has been affected by LWE with strong to moderate influence of CPI-Maoist.
LWE and Indian state:
- Originally LWE was seen only as a law-and-order problem hence Indian state tries to manage it by creation of stringent laws and empowering local police. However, with passage of time, it was generally recognized that origins of LWE lies in the socio-economic conditions of the affected areas.
- LWE has been most deeply entrenched in tribal and hilly areas of Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh or in highly feudal areas of Bihar, UP where welfare promises of Indian state has yet to make any significant impact.
- With the advent of liberalization, already entrenched inequalities of Indian society got further sharpens and due to lack of inclusive growth and failure of trickle-down model of development millions of tribals and Dalits has got excluded from mainstream of society and Maoist captures their imagination through their propaganda.
- Tribals of central India are the worst suffers of development induced displacement and failure of Indian state to provide any sustainable solution to the problem of displacement have further raised the appeal of Maoism.
- Ineffective implementation of legislations like PESA, FRA in tribal areas and the corporate- bureaucrat collusion at the ground level have further eroded the writ of Indian state and create fertile ground for spread of Maoism.
However, in recent times Govt. has taken many corrective measures to redress the existing situation which are as follow :
- PM has inaugurated first wellness center under Ayushman Bharat in LWE affected Bijappur district of Chattisgarh.
- Roshni scheme is being implemented to provide placement linked skill development for youth in LWE affected district.
- Aspirational India programme of Govt has covered 35 LWE affected districts to provide for all round development of the region.
- Road connectivity projects and mobile tower projects is implemented in LWE areas to further boost infrastructure development.
- Special infrastructure scheme and security related expenditure scheme is being implemented to boost the combat capabilities of forces stationed in LWE affected areas
Give the complexities associated with the Maoist movement, it is naïve to see it only through the lens of law and order. However, given the protracted nature of problem eradication of LWE is going to be a long haul and only through inclusive development and delivering justice at the ground level we can hope to win the trust of our tribal population and eradicate Maoism in comprehensive manner.