Afghanistan Through The Bygones & Erased Papers
One of the leading foreign relations of educators of the 21st century, Stanly Johny, had predicted three probable outcomes of the US military’s pull-out from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,
- A political agreement wherein in the erstwhile Ghani government and the Taliban broker a power-sharing mechanism
- an all-out civil war, the Taliban expand its reach in the countryside, while other ethnic militias fight for their fiefs. This had been unfolding for some time.
- A hostile takeover by the Taliban.
Only a person insensitive to the nearly 30 crore lives would be unaware of what followed. People are fleeing and falling from planes fearing death, rape, and whatnot, if they reside in what could e once called their homeland.
Why should you care if you share the same planet?
Ever heard the term “radio-silence” outside of first-person action games? A whole nation is experiencing it. A gunshot could follow a citizen’s music; it is the terrorist’s whim.
Is new Delhi the rape capital of the largest democracy in the world? Minors, girls irrespective of their age, are being institutionally mass recruited, yes, recruited to serve as sex slaves for the fighter men and followers of sharia because that is what “Taliban” translates to, right? A student.
The practices, as mentioned earlier, could be counted as one of the Taliban’s least horrendous and inhumane deeds; yes, look around, understand, imagine ISIS their entry through your nation’s capital and enforcing their radically extreme variation of the Sharia law.
To some people’s utter surprise, this is not the Taliban’s debut attempting to have the reins, ruling and leading Afghanistan. They were the de-facto authority for half a decade, from 1996-2001. Here is a highly concise timeline of events, just for an overview of what the nation has been going through for the last four decades.
1979-89 The UUSR invades Afghanistan and supports the ruling government against the Mujahedeen
1989-92 The incumbent government continues t battle the mujahedeen without the Soviet troops but only financial assistance. Meanwhile, the alleged rebels receive support from the United States and Afghanistan.
1992-96 The Mujahedeen largely withdrew support and began their fight against the Islamic State, later largely replaced by the Taliban and Al-Qaeda reportedly patronised wholly by Pakistan. This phase ends with the Taliban’s capture of Kabul and partial recognition of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
1996-2001 The continuation of Taliban’s rule until the USA’s invasion in 2001 with periodic resistance by internal and external parties to the conflict.
2001-2021 The USA continues to fight the Taliban, claiming to have ousted them early in the decade and pan their attention towards the civil war in Iraq, which gives the Taliban a chance to emerge again. The following two decades witness several hostilities, and statistics do show some improvement in sustainable development metrics.
How would this happen despite the presence of the claiming to be the greatest superpower, the United States?
Exactly, here is the catch, presidents since the time of Barack Obama have been mulling over the thought of ending the nation’s longest waged war against terrorism. Its success remains a matter of debate. The USA invaded Afghanistan in the backdrop of the infamous 9/11 attack on the twin towers in the year 2001, placing the blame on Osama-Bin-Laden, who had taken refuge in the nation. Various attempts had been made, but none could be materialised. To that end, the last outgoing POTUS, Mr Donald Trump, agreed with the Taliban to cease the unending violence. This was hailed as the Qatar deal of 2020.
The deal was a quid pro quo; the Taliban only agreed to halt the belligerence if the USA released several prisoners and completely withdrew the stationed troops by the 1st of May 2021.
Early 2021, Joe Biden is the president of the US who alters the troop withdrawal policy shifting the deadline to the 1st of September 2021. The Taliban, indifferent to the change of leadership and under the pretext of not keeping up their side of the agreement, ceaselessly continue the hostilities continue capturing more and more provinces reducing the whole nation’s democracy to a circus.
Who all partook in this?
There has been an inconsistent involvement and intervention of numerous states and non-state stakeholders. The United States, along with every other NATO member via troops, The erstwhile USSR and presently the Russian Federation, The Taliban, Turkey being the primary players involved.
What is the status quo? Wait, that does not reflect the seriousness; what are the chances of a man leaving his house and returning alive?
Ideally, Afghanistan, an Islamic Republic, already had Islam as its official religion, so what is different now? The Taliban has been hell-bent on adopting SHARIA, which in Arabic translates to ‘god’s immutable divine law’, in contrast to FIQH, meaning humans’ scholarly interpretation giving rise to a conflict between Muslim modern and fundamentalists.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia : Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia.
Why the unfolding events can be a good word for everyone, or could something worse be awaiting?
There is something in store for every other nation. Here is why:
- The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan can serve as a land route connecting the whole of Asia with Europe, the role served by Iran, which has severed ties with the west.
- The United States, along with NATO and the western powers, has been claiming to fight xenophobia and religious extremism, stationing troops in the pretext of fighting terrorism.
- Though the USSR largely withdrew their military and logistical support, it still eyes Afghanistan as a potential trade partner, the legitimacy of which is debatable because of the acres of opium farms that could materialise into billions of revenue
- India, on the other hand, has poured in billions of investments, be it a couple of dams or the Parliament building currently occupied by the Taliban
China’s pearl of strings or debt trap policy could have been the perfect chance for them to enter the nation, but their ill-treatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang province serves as a conflict of interest.
- Scholars worldwide write this as serendipity for Pakistan who has always been siding with the Taliban.
The answer to why has not the collective effort of nations have been successful in outing the regime lies in the disorganised nature of the Taliban; everyone and no one is Taliban. A contingency that fruits benefits to stakeholders does not end; people thrive for its existence.