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We hope that these editorial articles are helping you in your exam preparation. This series of Editorials’ Difficult Words will help you to understand the editorials of The Hindu in a better way. Today we have come up with the explanation of difficult words/phrases of the below editorial. Have a look and update your word power & general awareness by going through this editorial.

Difficult Word/ PhraseContextual Sense
Pyrrhic a victory that is not worth winning because the winner has suffered or lost so much in winning it
Leverage power to influence people and get the results you want
Ceasefire a temporary suspension of fighting, typically one during which peace talks take place
Calculus calculation
Insurgency an active revolt or uprising
Resurgence an increase or revival after a period of little activity, popularity, or occurrence
Embolden give (someone) the courage or confidence to do something or to behave in a certain way
Remnant a small surviving group
Tactically in a way that relates to actions carefully planned to gain a specific end
Haven a place of safety or refuge
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Pyrrhic (a victory that is not worth winning because the winner has suffered or lost so much in winning it) victory: On Imran Khan’s pro-Taliban stand

Religious extremism, militancy in Afghanistan will be counterproductive for Pakistan

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was the first world leader who wholeheartedly welcomed the Taliban’s capture of Kabul on August 15 — before its fall, Pakistan had maintained that it had little leverage (power to influence people and get the results you want) on the Taliban to force them to accept a ceasefire (a temporary suspension of fighting, typically one during which peace talks take place) and that it backed a political solution in Afghanistan. However, on August 16, he said Afghans have “broken the shackles of slavery”, leaving little doubt on where Pakistan stands on the Taliban’s return. This is hardly surprising. Pakistan not only played a central role in the Taliban’s rise to power in the 1990s but was also one of the three countries to have had formal diplomatic ties with them. Pakistan continued to support the Taliban even after they were driven out of power by the U.S. in 2001. Its strategic calculus (calculation) was that a stable Afghanistan backed by the U.S. and India would harm its core interests. It hosted the Taliban leadership in Quetta, Balochistan, and allowed their militants to regroup and resume insurgency (an active revolt or uprising) in Afghanistan. In that sense, the Taliban’s capture of Kabul can be seen as the success of a long-term strategy Pakistan’s military establishment had adopted. But it is too early to begin celebrations.

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The geopolitical implications of the Taliban’s victory are still unclear. But, irrespective of what kind of a government they will establish, the resurgence (an increase or revival after a period of little activity, popularity, or occurrence) of a Sunni radical jihadist group could embolden (give (someone) the courage or confidence to do something or to behave in a certain way) similar outfits elsewhere. Pakistan has a problem with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the ideological twin of the Taliban, that has carried out deadly attacks inside Pakistan. Also, the August 26 Kabul blasts are a warning of what is awaiting Afghanistan. The country is still chaotic and lawless where groups such as the Islamic State Khorasan Province (IS-K), the IS affiliate that has claimed responsibility for the blasts, would seek to flourish. Without order, the country could fall into a multi-directional, civil war between the Taliban, the IS-K, and the remnants (a small surviving group) of the old regime. The question is whether Pakistan, overwhelmed by the Taliban’s success, sees the possible dangers the triumph of hardline Islamism now poses. Religious extremism and militancy can help one country tactically (in a way that relates to actions carefully planned to gain a specific end) but will be counterproductive in the long term. When the U.S. backed the Mujahideen in the 1980s, it might never have imagined that the Taliban would rise from the Mujahideen and host the al Qaeda that would carry out the deadliest attack on America since the Second World War. Similarly, a chaotic Afghanistan ruled by extremist Islamists is as much a geopolitical victory as a security and strategic challenge to Pakistan. During the insurgency, Pakistan refused to use its leverage over the Taliban for peace. It should do so at least now because a stable Afghanistan which treats its people with dignity and does not provide safe havens (a place of safety or refuge) to transnational terrorist organisations is in the best interests of all regional powers, including Pakistan.

Hope you got to know some new words/phrases which will definitely be useful in the English section of upcoming competitive exams. Wishing you all the best for your preparation!

Want to improve your vocabulary further? Download the Lists of Word-Meanings of Previous Months here.

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