In the Spin Boldak area of Afghanistan, Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was killed on July 16th. The Indian photojournalist was killed during an encounter between the Taliban and Afghan security forces in Kandahar while he was covering the ongoing Afghan-Taliban war. Pakistan also has a strong presence in the region. With the Taliban denying their involvement, there is a high possibility that Siddiqui was allegedly killed by Pakistani forces.
Initially reports mentioned that it was the Taliban who killed the journalist but instead the Taliban expressed grief and regret over the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist’s death in Afghanistan’s Kandahar during clashes between its fighters and Afghan forces. “We are not aware during whose firing the journalist was killed. We do not know how he died,” Taliban’s spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid told CNN-News18 on Friday.
“Any journalist entering the war zone should inform us. We will take proper care of that particular individual,” Mujahid said. “We are sorry for Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui’s death. We regret that journalists are entering war zone without intimation to us,” he added.
Danish used to work for the news agency Reuters. In 2018 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Danish was covering the current situation in Spin Boldak district for the past several days. When the Special Forces of Afghanistan were on a rescue mission, Danish was present with them.
The flags of both the Taliban and Pakistan have been seen waving together near the site where the journalist was killed. This implies that Pakistan has a strong presence in the region. Moreover, Pakistan’s support for the Afghan Taliban is well documented.
The Spin Boldok area where the incident took place is very close to the ZARANJ-DELARAM HIGHWAY built by India. The highway connects Chabahar Port to Kabul via Kandahar. India’s External Affairs Minister Jaishankar said at the November 2020 Geneva conference that India had transported 75,000tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan via Chabahar during the pandemic. This highlights the importance of Chabahar Port and ZARANJ-DELARAM HIGHWAY.
Besides, recently 10,000 fighters from Pakistan have been sent to the war-zone of Afghanistan so that they can support the Taliban in spreading terror and with instruction from ISI to destroy Indian assets. “A large number of Pakistani fighters have joined the fight inside Afghanistan against the government there and supporting the Taliban. They have entered the arena with instructions to target Indian assets and buildings,” as reported by India Today.
According to reports, Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI has ordered these fighters to destroy the infrastructure that India has constructed in Afghanistan. For many years the terrorist organization known as the Haqqani Network has been damaging India’s assets in Afghanistan. The organization is backed up by Pakistan’s support.
For two decades, India has invested more than $3 billion across several sectors in Afghanistan. This includes the construction of several roads from the Afghan Parliament. India has also made a significant contribution to the education sector in Afghanistan. It has helped in preparing the infrastructure for the education of teachers.
India has been very smart from the beginning and built development projects instead of taking sides between the civilian government and the Taliban. Therefore, even if the Taliban forms the government, these projects would be equally crucial, and the Taliban regime would prefer peace with India. Thus, it is the Terrorist fighters of Pakistan that have been instructed to destroy all these assets giving proof of India’s goodwill.
Connecting the dots gives us a clear vision of what actually went down in Afghanistan. As Taliban handed the body of Danish Siddiqui to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). They said, they would have taken note if they knew the Indian journalist was there. Moreover, given the fact of 10,000 Pakistani troops recruited to Afghanistan along with the fact that the Pakistan flag was spotted in the same area, it is very likely that there was Pakistani presence and involvement. Strict investigation and measures should be taken for the safeguard of Indians in Afghanistan. The Pakistan government should be questioned before more Indians are ruthlessly attacked or killed by the Jihadis.