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Taliban names special military unit ‘Panipat’ invoking the victory of Ahmed Shah Abdali over Marathas in the 1761 Panipat war

The Third Battle of Panipat saw over 1,25,000 people killed during a single day with the sacrifice of many military commanders

With a move instigating Indian sentiments, The Taliban has decided to name a special military unit as Panipat – in reference to the 18th-century Afghan zealot Ahmed Shah Abdali. It was in 1761 when raids by Ahmed Shah Abdali to North India were challenged by the Marathas which culminated in the Third Battle of Panipat on January 14, 1761.

The Panipat unit will be stationed at Nangarhar which shares its border with Pakistan. Talking about the new unit, Taliban’s (acting) Defence Minister Mullah Muhammad Yaqoob Mujahid said, “This new unit is part of the broader move being initiated by the Taliban, under which the country aims to have a 110,000-member army. This number will be raised further if needed,”

With the lionization of Ahmed Shah Abdali, the Taliban has evidently given a signal to India also dripped in Hindu-hatred. The Battle of Panipat saw over 1,25,000 people killed during a single day with the sacrifice of Maratha Commander-in-Chief Sadashiv Rao Bhau, Peshwa Nanasaheb’s son Vishwasrao, Jankoji Scindia and several other prominent leaders for the nation. One of the events which instigated the counter-attack by Marathas was Abdali’s raids at Hindu pilgrimage sites at Mathura characterised by rampant looting, killing of the innocent and assault on women.

This is however not a singular incident when the Taliban has associated itself with genocidal warmongers from the Islamic past. A painting of Ahmed Shah Abdali’s coronation still hangs at the Presidential Palace in Kabul in front of which the Taliban was seen positing itself after its successful capture of Afghanistan in 2021.

Talabani terrorists after the successful capture of Kabul in the presidential palace. Credits: News NCR

Earlier in October 2021, Taliban leader Anas Haqqani had tweeted about him visiting the tomb of Sultan Mohammed Ghaznavi, who plundered the Somnath Mandir in the 11th century. Glorifying the tyrant as ‘a renowned Muslim warrior & Mujahid of the 10th century’, the terrorist claimed that the shrines of these ‘honours inspire us with freedom, pride & courage.’

It is no wonder that terror organisations like the Taliban, see Islamic tyrants from the past as their heroes. Alike Pakistan, The Taliban continues to purge Hindu minorities in Afghanistan while it disseminates Hindu hatred and anti-India rhetoric through its narrative as well as through action. The move has sparked strong reactions in India where people are flagging it as a jingoistic attempt to incite violence against Hindus. Indians are demanding action against the Taliban for the brazen move.

From Ghaznavi to Aurangzeb and from Abdali to Tipu Sultan, a section of Indian historians whitewash their massacres against Hindus which is followed by terrorist organizations like the Taliban glorifying them. This is one of the incidents which shows how the vicious cycle of Hindu hatred completes itself.

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Suyash Sherekar
Suyash Sherekar
Writer, Architect. Negotiating the Present as a Journalist and the Past as a Historical Researcher. News Geek. Writes on Politics and Policy, Design, Culture and Media.

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