- The fast-unraveling Afghanistan scenario is eerily playing out a similar script to what transpired two decades back. Back then, Pakistan’s notorious Inter-Services Intelligence (IS) and Taliban nexus had succeeded in perpetrating havoc in the landlocked country known for its several landlords fighting for supremacy. The resultant outcome was the extremely fundamentalist and jihadist group like the Taliban coming to power and imposing inhuman restrictions, especially on women/girls under the garb of religion. Such despicable bigotry and misogynist viewpoints enacted by the patriarchal mullahs had paved the way for fostering international terrorism that culminated in the bombing of the twin towers in the United States of America.
PC: Pakistan Defence
- The rest as they say is history. That one incident was enough to set a sequence of events transforming the global geopolitical landscape forever. The war on terrorism took an entirely new meaning forcing the USA to occupy Afghanistan for almost two decades at an unimaginably humongous cost. Further, the decision to exit the war-ravaged country is proving to be a catalyst for even more catastrophic events plunging the country to the dreaded pre-occupation times. The lighting fast usurpation of the entire region by the Taliban is reminiscent of darker days of yore signaling an ominous future for the already emaciated people. Despite assurances to the international community of establishing an inclusive and moderate government, the interim government announced recently is in stark contrast.
- It is abundantly clear that the Taliban’s new interim government unambiguously carries a strong imprint of Pakistan’s military-jihadi complex. Most appallingly, the new Afghan leadership structure is sans non-Taliban members coming close on the heels of the recent visit to Kabul of Pakistan’s ISI chief playing a peacemaker between different factions. Several of the leaders announced for important positions are representatives of the proscribed organization including but not restricted to Haqqani Network, Rehbari Shura, and the ilk. Moreover, few of the leaders appointed to lead important ministries to carry millions of dollars on their heads as well. Mind you, all these characters are equally partial to unpleasant methods of ruling a country.
PC: NITIN PAI
- Thus talks about a new Taliban appear hollow exercise aimed at pacifying the miffed international community at best. It is left to the imagination of concerned as to what portends for the well-being of Afghans when the head of Doha’s political office representing the moderate Taliban is himself sidelined. It will be difficult to expect international recognition for the new Taliban regime if most wanted terrorists are occupying positions of power. The US freezing billions in Afghan reserves and both the World Bank and IMF halting their aid will further exacerbate the sufferings. In the immediate absence of humanitarian aid, the common Afghans will bear the brunt of skyrocketing inflation and the dreary economic hellhole awaiting them.
- And Pakistan for all its influence over the Taliban can hardly prop up the new government financially given its own dire economic situation and overt dependence on IMF funding. China will extend a helping hand but cannot shoulder the burgeoning responsibilities in running the entire country on its own. The Taliban government must view the present situation pragmatically and initiate talks with the West and India to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.