‘Mortgaged Souls & Minds’ Prevention of civil war in Afghanistan…! Onus on Govt. and the Taliban

‘Mortgaged Souls & Minds’ Prevention of civil war in Afghanistan…! Onus on Govt. and the Taliban

 

A A Latief u zaman Deva

The Government in Kabul  more often than not call Afghanistan as a  South  Asian country  especially after becoming a  member of South Asian Regional Association for  Co- operation (SARAC)  in  2007  without  technically  attracting the twin criteria  of  continuum history  and bordering   the  indo- gangetic civilizational moorings and in the imagination of   general masses steeped deep in religion, history, geography  & traditions  it is a west Asian multi-ethnic multi-lingual land  locked country,    bordering  Iran, Pakistan, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan  and Turkmenistan,   with   population  of 3.96 Crores ( 2020)  spread over 6.53 lakh kms  inhabited in thirty four  provinces of the country  whose ancient  king Qais Abdul  Rashid is claimed to have met with Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in 630 BC   through  Khalid Ibni Waleed before reverting to  Islam.  The ethnic and linguistic  demography  is   suggestive of a  highly diverse  profile of the country as it is Pashtun, Tajik,  Uzbek, Hazara,  Aimaq, Turkmen & Baloch etc  who are the prominent Segments  of Afghan society comprising 42 %, 27%,  9%, 9%,4%, 3%, 2%  and 4%  others including Nuristani and Arabs  respectively of the population. The data is based on surveys and other speculative methodologies and doesn’t represent the actual  ground level position as Census Operations are yet to be effectuated in the war  ravaged  country & the fact about  04  million Afghan refugees outside  the home country with bulk of them in  Pakistan and  others  in Iran and  other countries. On the basis of mother  tongues (languages) spoken , spread of Pashtuns  and  verifiable data preceding 1973 (  overthrow of King Zahir Shah by Dawood Khan, a  KGB  mole in Soviet era) the  Pashtuns peg their population around 57%. The interesting feature of Afghan demography  lies in Tajik  population more in Afghanistan than in their breeding base of Tajikistan and therefore the ground for ethnic Strain   between  them &  Pashtuns who  are   incidentally  half of the Pashtu population of Pakistan.  

Neighbourhood relationship

The folk  tales in Afghanistan  are a singular  reminder  of the hostility  the  Iranian ‘& Afghans had for each other   in the seventeenth and  eighteenth centuries when faced with   untold  tyranny and brutality   at the hands of Iranian  Safavid rulers  and    use of  mercenaries  by them for forcing the  subjugated to  adopting   the faith of the rulers   but fiercely   resisted by  unrelenting    people till  Safavid  rulers  driven out  while concurrently the people in  eastern Afghanistan  found themselves relatively at ease &  better under Moghul rulers. The ghost of past haunted them when Iran tacitly supported the Russian backed Govtts in Kabul until the latter withdrew in 1989 and the policy repeated  by active participation in  USA led war of 2001  against the Taliban. During  Iran – Iraq war the precariously depleted levels of arms & ammunition of Iranian forces were reinforced by Mujahideen ,with weapons supplied  to them by   USA-Pak ‘Saudi axis for fighting the Russians,   under the euphoria of Islamic resurgence in Iran and by handful for monetary  considerations.  The Water issues in Helmand province,  concern for heroin exports through Iran &   mainstreaming of  8000- 14000   returnees’ from Syrian war theatre   are the   only subsisting  unresolved irritations as  the  construction of Dams etc  in all probability  shall affect adversely the down stream of water shed in Iran, 90% of heroin in the world market has its origins  in Afghanistan and  the  Iran  backed  warriors  from the  Afghanistan trained & indoctrinated  by Iran   have participated in Syrian  conflict  which  over the years degenerated into a sectarian battle from Arab Spring of 2011.However  the Taliban seem to have mended fences  with Hazara & others  after  de- esclation initially followed by the  bonhomie  in ties with Iran.  The status of relations with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan  is satisfying to  all  excepting   the drug  trafficking & persistent  activities  of Islamists   without affecting the  State  to State  relations  which are  unfortunately static and not growing up to the extent of potential based on cultural affinities, unique between the three countries and Afghanistan.  The  radicalisation of  younger  generations in central Asia can be pre-empted  by moving gradually towards a genuine framework of democratic governance and   individual  freedoms  bordering liberty  with reasonable restrictions in the interests of State and local public  aspirations  within the broader ambit of an  all inclusive Islamic faith symbolized in  common Architecture,   medieval history of  the regions, religious practices   and the presidential  from of  democracy  acquiesced by all in the region.

A   reference  in  political  narratives in Afghanistan  is that  before the partition of   sub-continent in 1947  during a  famous sports event held in Kabul when Indian athletes & other players  made their presence  felt in presence of King Zahir Shah he is said to have had  been looking for Pakistani  counter parts of Indian teams  but on emerging as  a  Ist  Islamic  independent ideological  State on August 14, 1947  & resultant admission into UN as its member  the solitary opposition emanated from Afghan representative in the  UN followed by immediately   disputing the Durand line  of  1893 demarcating  the borders between British India and Afghanistan in the provinces of Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa  which on partition & emergence of India & Pakistan as two States was inherited by the latter as internationally  settled boundary between the  two countries.   Before  the departure  of  Britishers  from the  sub-continent  by relinquishing their paramountcy  &   suzereignty over India; the  Afghans at no stage  in fifty four years,  ever since the  settlement  made by  Mortiner Durand   in 1893, raised  questions  on the validity of Durand line but chose the  occasion after partition.  Not content with the acrimonious treatment meted out to the new country at its nascent stage the   violence was  contrived  for being unleashed  by supplying arms   to the terrorists and other extremists for waging war against the State accompanied with attacks on Pakistani Embassy in Kabul and  sporadic skirmishes on the border & due to porous geographical features of the Durand line  the  misguided Afghanis  at times by  crossing the border entered  into  FATA now included in Khyber  Pakhtunkhwa in order to create trouble for  Pakistan  for which even the founder of Pakhtunistan  Faquir  of lpi ( Mirza Khan) was recipient of  logistics  and  other  support from India. He actually being a spiritual person had gone misled due to language barriers  but realizing sooner the  religious bindings for  extending unflinching support to the ideological State  he disbanded the organisation to the chagrin of Khan Ab Gaffar Khan  who rightly had opposed the partition on the  basis of  two Nation Theory  but on its happening considered the new State of Pakistan as a  Masjid but displaying his incoherent  vision the person fighting for joint India  as a  universalist  came out for ethnicity based State. Depending upon the  political & ideological  orientation of  the party  coming to power under the king  in Afghanistan the covert & overt operations were being organised inside Pakistan particularly in  Pashtun areas with a view to destabilising the country . The first prime Minister of Pakistan  Liaquat Ali Khan was  assassinated  in Rawalpindi on October 16,1951 by  a hired  assassin  Syed Akbar,  son of an  honorary  Brigadier  of Afghan  army  from  Khost  after the deceased leader  had manifested  the prospective alignment  of his country to  liberal & democratic order of the west by proceeding on official visit to  USA after over two months of achieving the independence. Dawood Khan as a ruler after 1973 pushed for the revival of   sabateaur  networks    who were getting marginalised politically due to islamisation of Pashtun  and entry of Pakistan peoples Party(PPP) into the province  which inter- alia  saw the killing of Hayat Muhammad  Khan  Sherpo , Governor  of the State & Vice Chairman of  PPP on  the Campus of Peshawar University  on February 8, 1975 triggering  the State  patronized counter retaliatory measures  including hosting of Burhan u Din Rabbani, a Pashtun & Ahmed Shah Masood, a Tajik along with their followers   in 1974 long back the Soviet invasion of 1979 . Bhutto  an  Islamist  socialist  with leanings towards leftists  lays dragnet for decimation of  Socialists /Communists of Afghanistan ( fellow travellers)  for  resurgence of Islamic movements  which   later on consumed  him in person  due to  misuse  of the spirit for Islamic revival by General Zia  &  Afghan State as a whole.

  An irony of  Pak-Af relations but essentially onus on Afghan leaders  albeit representing secular values and  dead against  fanaticism, extremism nd majoritarianism. This paradigm shift,  forced by sponsoring of terrorism  by Dawood Govt,   supported  by  Saudi Arabia as its   puritanical obligation to  confront communism  and  with active invoulment of USA   later on  galvanised almost entire rural populations and  large swathes in urban areas  of  Afghanistan against  Soviet  installed  communist  puppets  forcing Soviet  invasion resulting into a Holy war against Afghan communists  and  foreigners  basically  fallout of myopic policies of Afghan Govtts  under Soviet influence.   The Afghan travails as an  extension  of Superpower    rivalry   under the shadow of American defeat in   Vietnam during the  ist phase of   Afghan war  (1978-1989)  is  best illustrated in   ‘’ Afghanistan the Bear Trap:The  Defeat of a Superpower’’ by  Brigadier  M Yousaf (1992) who is  at the  end  lamenting at the  unimaginable death  & destruction suffered  by the Afghans.  King  Zahir Shah wasn’t antagonistic to Pakistan as the opposition to its  entry   into the World body as a member  is said to have been  the handiwork  of executive  which could not be reversed after the die had been cast  &   whenever  Pak-Af matters emerged  for his individual   decisions  he stood for  neutrality  as  in 1965 & 1971 indo-Pak battles with  positive  assurances conveyed to the nearest neighbouring country on its eastern border . The Afghans should learn lessons from the immediate past  in order to correct their vision of State to State  relations  to make it compatible  with  respect for territorial integrity of countries bordering it & immune itself from the machinations of powers hostile and inimical to them by denying use of its territory & State organisations for fulfilment of designs of aliens  otherwise Afghanistan would  continue to be endlessly  in  total anarchy  without  coming  out of messy disorder  and  chaotic  conditions  propelling its balkanisation. At best the model of Durrani Afghanistan (  1747-1826 )  encompassing  the existing Afghanistan and Pakistan  can be shaped  in the form of  Pak-Af confederation to fulfill the territorial visions of the people in the two countries.

Mixed outcomes of Soviet invasion

The  painful  dislocation of people  internally  to less vulnerable areas  followed by massive influx into  Pakistan ( 4.5 million), Iran ( over 01 million) and  other countries  in  thousands including Indiwith about 11000 comprising of 8000  non-Muslims persons of Indian origin  and  back home   lakhs  of people lost their lives, lakhs  suffered critical &  major injuries with entire country reduced to stone age socio- economic  positions in infrastructure and social services.  The two iconic leaders were already in Pakistan  since 1974 & now onwards joined by other top leadership  of the remaining political & religious  parties  who,  option less  &  sans understanding of American grand  interests  related to revenge for humiliating defeat in  Vietnam,  recruited young Afghans to form ‘’Mujahideen ‘’  brigades for liberation of their country from clutches of infidel communists  from 1978 to 1989 & later on intra- Mujahideen battles for control of the State  till 1996 witnessing martyrdom of  about one million people  in all from inception of the movement &  untold miseries. No doubt  about the Afghan  being battle hardened in soul & flesh  but the training  for  use of modern technology based weapons &  familiarisation  with the  nuances  of gurila  war churned out from the recruits the exemplary Mujahideen  not susceptible to material offerings  except taking the war to logical conclusion. After  Soviet exit the bonhomie  amongst all the  fighters petered out on ethnic lines with limited impact on Pashtun but almost total transformation in non- Pashtun  regions except limited no of Islamists from them.  The  integrenum  between the  exit of  Soviet union forces and  fall of Taliban  Govtt  saw more casualties both fighters and civilians  than in the  phase preceding  it and the  one  with  the entry of American including NATO troops.The youngsters  could have never imagined  about their motivators & trainers turning into their tormentors which actually happened after   September, 11  and   their handlers & senior commanders had no illusions about the untenable  fraternity linked to diametrically opposite ends of the war. The infidel communists fought against  by all with passion  but  out of them  non- Pashtun  become  later on  the  foot  soldiers  of Northern Alliance- NA-  ( non- Pashtun & non- Islamists)  in their pursuit for control of  Kabul   which resulted in total  anarchy in the country for about six years   leading  to ascendency of the  Taliban  in Kabul  reducing even top  Pashtu resistance leaders to nullity.  The  self declared war on terror   by USA  saw   the NA becoming  as an ally of    America led coalition  in war against Taliban who were loners as even Pakistan   proved  itself  a  chameleon character  in the bandwagon of Saudi Arabia and UAE under American pressure.   After the ist phase of the Jihad & rallying of thousands  around Mullah Omar, Amir Taliban, a new crop started  emerging  from Islamic Seminaries, having watched the treachery at the hands of leaders, less Islamists more tribal and ethnic  centric,  changed the course with  their firm support  to the Taliban till today  where linguistic and ethnic backgrounds  have  become increasingly unpopular  eventually taking control of almost whole country ( 90%)  by  2000   with maiden crush on opium from production to trafficking beyond the borders of Afghanistan, national level approach for forging cohesion in the war wrenched  Afghan society dehorse  divisive rhetoric , administration of speedy justice  and accountability  but lacked in State craft and  appreciation of desirability for outreach to other Segments of Afghan mosaic resulting in  Iranian hostility   & convergence of interests    of anti Taliban & anti  Islamists  having strategic influences in the country  on  pliable hands Which got deeply entrenched with the involvement of the State organisations    but valiantly met with .  Thus at the behest of the vested interests the gullible  leaders have fragmented   the Afghan community beyond redemption except on the analogy of Hindutva in India the Islamic reformative ideology,  to which people in absolute majority are prune to, is capable  of  reversing the outcome  of  outside sponsored  mischievous  political  narratives.

A false vanity  is being broached  in favour of Afghan Jihad by claiming the infliction of defeat on Soviet union & resultant disintegration of the country   without taking into account the support the Mujahideen were privileged to  from American orchestrated axis  in absence whereof Soviets would have singularly vanquished the resistance & if at all it survived the remnants  confined to Pashtun areas only  and  the will  with determination to maintain the territorial integrity of the country had long back given in for better living standards  amongst the Russians paving the way for central Asian countries to opt for independence without any meaningful hindrance from Moscow while in the case of Chechnya  &Dagistan  the Russians fought back successfully.  The Russian retreat did prove as a catalyst for recreation of  passion for endeavours in various parts of the Muslim  world without producing any tangible results  primarily owing to lack of support on the analogy Afghans got. The  complete American withdrawal by 9/11  in 2021 is an outcome of various factors including American fatigue, NATO’S  diminishing  interests, realisation  of  fighting wars of foreigners on alien lands  and the   reinforcements to Taliban from Russia,  China and Iran for bloodying the American nose at the hands of Taliban.  However the  Support by American QUAD against  Soviet Union & later on by Russian triangle against America  could not have been successful without  exemplary Afghan resilience for fighting it till end essentially driven by religious beliefs for liberating their country from foreign occupiers  even if it meant staggered resistance spanning over four decades undermining the ethnic divide in the country and  widening  faultlines  at unprecedented levels of human & material loss suffered by Pashtuns only with cascading   effects of Islamised  endeavours on Pakistan to a great extent & marginally on Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan whose delicate balancing of relations with Russian on one side & Americans on the other spectrum left the Islamic resurgence high and dry  otherwise the support on the analogy of Afghans would have turned all the five  central Asian countries  into Syria and Yemen type   inferno.  But the  hard truth about revolutions & armed struggles biting the hands that have had  fed them  is eloquently reflected by Afghans born & brought up  and educated  in Pakistan on returning home back  are single largest urban   conglomerate celebrating the victories of 3rd parties against Pakistan and illegal  Afghan   immigrants enjoying State largesse in  opposition sponsored agitations’  acting as its bulwark moreso with Pashtun Tahafuz Movement . A real security risk calling for close monitoring  & restricted  field of   living  activities  followed by  earliest  repatriation.   The unfriendly acts   of  these  immigrants have undoubtedly  attracted strong opposition from indigenous communities  against them particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  Call them ungrateful or agent provocateurs  the signals are the  visible   clarion calls for introspection about the benefits if any accruing to Pakistan from   the  protracted  unending Afghan battles  against the huge losses in men and resources it suffered second to Afghanistan only in the backdrop of AK 47 culture, drug trafficking  & intolerance  the fallout of  active invoulment of Pakistanis on the side of Afghan Mujahideen  otherwise unknown in the country preceding Afghan Jihad against Soviet union.

Puppet State for self exaltation

Quite sometime  in past two years   Hamid Karzai, two time  President of Afghanistan, made startling revelations about dropping of Al-Qaida & ISIS  fugitives,  being evacuated from Iraq & Syria, by the  Air force  controlling air space of the country  in north  eastern areas bordering Xinjiang autonomous state of China, central Asian countries and terrorism infested border areas of Pakistan. What ever the veracity of the Karzai’s  allegations the intent behind such a development  Prima    facie  was to utilise these excessively radicalised men for fomenting troubles in Russian  Muslim autonomous areas, exploiting uyghur dissatisfaction against China and  directing the extremists & terrorists in formerly FATA & disturbed Distts of Balochistan in Pakistan;  overtly for establishing an  Islamic state;   but little  these half baked radicals knew about their handlers despite the knowledge  in respect of the forces  who fought against them in Iraq & Syria but romanticising with the notion of ushering in  a new Islamic era in these countries  by using gainfully the enemy against mutually acceptable common enemies. Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef former Taliban Govtt Ambassador  to  Pakistan  attributes the arrival of Islamic state  activists on scene in Afghanistan  to Intelligence services  as a  pressure tactics  on Taliban  who,  Mr Zaeef claims, stand decimated by Taliban  leaving not a  shred of their presence in the  rugged regions. Henry Clinton,  Secy Foreign Affairs in Obama Administration,  has publically  admitted to  the making  of armed forces for fighting  proxy wars while ISIS was knocking down the   barriers around Baghdad after having run down the Iraqi forces in Mosul & other surrounding areas  &  getting sophisticated weapons supposedly from Israel.  The Tahrikh-I- Taliban Pakistan ( TTP) is an Islamic organisation aiming at the conversation of Pakistan into  an Islamic Emirate  on the analogy of Afghanistan as envisaged by Afghan Taliban but turned against Pakistan when the said country joined American led forces against Mullah Omar and his administration  including other networks considered as extensions of pan world  Islamic movement. The  Balochistan liberation Army is akin to Tamil terrorists in operations &  ideology  driven by ethnic & linguistic divisive outdated concepts.  Jamatul Ahrar, a  diseased  sectarian outfit has in its archery the opposite sects as targets .   The  short sightedness   of  the providers of  safe  heavens to these rabid terror groups   is that while they claim to champion for an inclusive non – divisive Nation State In  Afghanistan they forget  the   monster  they are rearing  shall have  raison  d’etre for application of their ideology  within Afghanistan also as a consequence of setting on fire the neighbouring Countries   on the self created medieval  approaches to life  by them.  These organisations operate from safe sanctuaries available to them in  Afghanistan  despite  Karzai and  Ashraf Gani   Govtts   pledging to see Afghanistan as a democratic & inclusive non  obscurantist State in the comity of Nations but Afghan National security forces hand in glove with the terrorist organisations  repaying in kind to Pakistan for  hosting  Afghans  & by extension  the Taliban non-combatant leadership . But for changes in foreign policy of Saudi Arabia the world might have witnessed Jundullah, a  fanatic movement resisting Iranian hold on Seistan Balochistan on ethnic and sectarian paradigms, fighting Iran from Afghan soil in retaliation  to the  Houthi,  an Iranian backed obscurant terror group in Yemen hell bent on changing  the political landscape of Yemen in disproportionate to their population with weapons originating from Iran. The  back channel  diplomacy between  Saudi Arabia and Iran and  de’tente in  State relations is a gratifying factor  for Ummah. The  characters  glorifying  the  Afghan  invincibility  by alluding to defeats Of         the  British  in  1839- 1842, 1878- 1886  &  1919  battles,   Soviet Union in 1989 &  USA in 2021 are doing disservice to  unfortunate  Afghans  rather  than  highlighting the advantages of  peace  in  the interests of the whole region. In the circumstances of nefarious roles of foreign Agencies  with collaboration  of Afghan Govtt or Afghan Agencies or both   it is  the puppet State itself, more inclined to self exaltation,  which is responsible for Afghan quagmire  otherwise  on one side fighting the ideological war against Taliban  you can’t promote the same  ideology  in the backyard of your neighbourhood  as the strategy is proving counter productive by the hardline ideology gaining more ground in the region. Under the cover of strategic interests Afghan Govtt enables various  hostile countries to misuse  its soil for fulfilment of the respective state policies . Better would it be for the region to conclude  a ‘’No covert & overt operations Treaty ‘’ amongst all the countries sharing borders with Afghanistan  to facilitate it to move forward for emerging as an economic  cum  Soft power State  in the long run which can fructify by ceding  commensurate space to Taliban towards Afghan led & Afghan owned   peace process   based on Islamic identity of the country with no extra territorial country roles  except peaceful co- existence and respect for UN covenants   in order to promote beneficial relations with all countries.

The World powers by  using the  susceptible elements from Afghan Society as strategic assets  for pursuing  their respective State agendas  for forging alliances or destabilising the non- conformist Govtts should  instead shift the focus on  economic strength of the country  in order to  eliminate the sickness  associated with the place but caught in rivalry between China led alliance and distant  USA  sponsored    forum ;it is ripening  stage for Afghans to make election from the two by coming out of the vortex of misuse by all in the name of strategic interests.  However a neutral  Afghanistan  equi-    distant between the two world orders is the surest way for  regaining the lost glory of the past  by  opening  of surface corridors through its territory from ASEAN,  Karachi and Gawadher Pakistan & chabhar Iran  for connecting South Asian countries with central Asia, China peninsula, Russia & Europe  by joining CPEC and  recently announced connectivity & developmental   programme by America &  European Union together with   inter South Asian and Central Asian  projects for harnessing Gas, petroleum products and electricity on mutually beneficial measures. This shift calls for statesmanship in Afghanistan which the corrupt & ethnicity centric small leaders can’t provide  who shamelessly approach  even countries without any fallout of violence in Afghanistan having affected them  for perpetuating the disorder in the country as a surest way  to retain the power  hierarchy permanently and the strategy also suits those interested in use of Afghans as    strategic  assets to further their respective country specific  Agendas.   Admittedly  only a ‘’Messiah’’  can deliver at this reckoning moment with prospects for millennium  changes awaiting Greater Asia.  

Momentous day for Taliban

Notwithstanding the widespread  ethnic and linguistic  faultlines it  is the Muslim identity of absolute majority population of Afghanistan   dating back to  120000 to 156000 years, since when Prophet Adam is reported to have lived,  which should unite the public otherwise  presently  in unprecedented despair and deprivation   but that to happen requires the Taliban to reach out to all stakeholders and reiterate its commitment to honour the rights of ethnic & other minorities and of  women within the parameters of Afghan constitution to the extent of its consistency with Shariat and simultaneously bring out the model of Islamic state law   by borrowing the relevant provisions from Pakistani and Iranian Constitutions as a biggest CBM for those harbouring misgivings about Taliban rule  & also  disown the  incongruous legacy (1996-2001)    considered   unislamic viz the   perspectives  prevalent in the Muslim world    with regard  to the   impugned    decrees, judgments, deeds &  verbal discourses   passed by the  inexperienced politicians    although   in good faith but  admittedly with potential for strains   on  diverse socio-cultural    features of the fairy land.  The upholding of the principle of ‘’Mushurat”,  in modern times   elections  based on universal adult  franchise,  is the best answer for those questioning the locus of Taliban and meanwhile join the Govtt by sharing the portfolios on rotational  basis till general elections are held under the auspices of an independent Election Commission  comprising of   members considered ‘’sadiq & Ameen’’  with technical support from technocrats and experienced  persons chosen by Govtt  Empowered Committee.  The  blunders  committed  by  Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt   under Late Morsi should  be avoided  as a lesson   for the time  being & no need for hastening the take over  unilaterally not acceptable   even to the neighbouring countries. The  international community should not interfere with the electoral system as may be chosen & accepted by the majority in the  Nation  &   also  the outcome accepted.  The status quoists are a biggest impediment in providing adequate representation to Taliban who are virtually in control of rural areas and almost  fifty  Distts  Hqs out of 400 Distts,   many of the unconquered  Distts falling  within the NA controlled  Northern Afghanistan . The unpopular people in the Govtt indulge  in procrastinating delays  for  laying down the road map  for transition and largely responsible for provoking  retaliatory attacks against  operations conducted by the State forces  against Taliban needlessly. Taming  by mellowing the Taliban is needed & to bring them around for getting electoral  approval  in general elections instead of attempting  to split the monolithic structure of the movement  and  brooding  on misguided prescriptions  for defeating the Taliban  militarily  as in Syria  without appreciating the finer facts differentiating the two countries. The hawkish  protagonists with little value for aspirations of Afghans are increasingly  manifesting their inclination for status quo  regardless of the adverse consequences  it could have on  the public, Govtt and  the region as a whole. Let the  Taliban prove  the doomsayers  wrong by acting responsibly  to prevent the  recurrence of chaotic scenes of 1989/1992 – 1996  & maintain cordial relations with the neighbourhood  in order to obviate the  adverse effects of break  down in communication channels Otherwise the bitterness widespread in the country  coupled with  ever increasing concerns of  major countries of the world could be the cause for its  fragmentation resulting in integration of Pashtun & Hazara areas in Pakistan and others in the three bordering central Asian  countries  in the  interests  of world peace as a  lost option.

Taliban shall find itself in the vicious circle drawn by the Ashraf Gani  set-up thereby provoking the loosely knitted fighters  for fight against the State forces who as per scripts cede space to  talibani armed crop for pleading, in the ensuing audience granted by J. Biden to the duo of Ashraf Gani &  Dr Abdullah Abdullah in Washington DC  today, against the Taliban as unreliable party to the Afghan truce agreement  for implementation    of which it should reiterate  its commitment in unambiguous terms immediately. Both these leaders are reluctant to accept the reality about popular support the Taliban carry & are spoilers  of the  peace deal along with their backers . A neutral Afghan with impeccable integrity should have headed the forum for concluding the final  peace deal  as the leadership in the Govtt is more inclined to the military options by  considering  the USA led coalition as sacrificial goats  for fulfilling their goals based on claims of shame electoral dividends    but   little they realise that it is just 7% of eligible Afghan voters who have participated in presidential elections 2019.  The  magnitude  and  sweep of  boycott  in the  elections  2019 is  a  pointer towards the     credibility the general masses  have for the Afghan Govtt.  Since both parties demand greater share  in transition period  and  unwilling  to  accommodate  the  concerns  of the parties the Taliban should  propose the conduct of referendum  about the  formation the public desire to hold the interim  set up exclusively  otherwise the forced seizure of Afghan Govtt in Kabul will be repetition of previous rendezvous of Taliban without recognition   by almost all Countries including this time of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE risking  thereby  the total isolation with  unmanageable  consequences especially economic in nature.

 The reports  suggesting the American withdrawal to  be  accomplished   broadly by July 11 and  only  tokenistic  on September 11  is reminiscent of what it did in 1989  also and on both the  occasions hastened retreat  resulting in  power  vacuum without addressing  the post withdrawal  scenarios & this time around Pakistan likely in a precarious position where Taliban, immune to manoeuvring & dictats and  conscious of  betrayal by  Musharraf setup  when against diplomatic norms Afghan Taliban Ambassador was arrested  in 2001 & handed over to USA for eventually  landing in Guantanamo infamous prison ( My Life  with  the Taliban -2010- Abdul Salam Zaeef) ,  expects neutrality from it, the Afghan Govtt and its allies want it to pressurize  Taliban into submission before the highly  opportunistic & unpopular  leadership and the America’s  often slanging row  to do more   for Af Govtt & its proxies but having tasted the treachery  in the  recent years at the hands of America & its allies  neither common masses nor the elected members of democratic institutions  want the country to  fight other’s battles which it demonstrated by distancing itself from   the  Syrian  and Yemeni  conflicts even though as an ideological State it could have intervened for bridging the gaps.

World is looking towards the Taliban and such an  occasion has   rarely come  in recent past in the history of  Ummah.  A responsible response  shall  be  the  harbinger  for undoing of Islamophobia.


(The opinions expressed by the author doesn’t necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of Kashmir Despatch. The author is former Chairman JKPSC and can be reached on aaluzdeva_221256 @ymail.com)

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