On Monday the 14th, Biden and his NATO counterparts bid symbolic farewell to their embarrassing war in Afghanistan that cost them $ 2.26 trillion and cost Afghans more than three million lives and two decades of horrors. of war.
Moreover, two more decades have been wrenched from Afghanistan’s potential for progress and development – a sin that cannot be redeemed. Twenty years ago, President Bush called the Taliban “terrorists” who brutalized the Afghan people and equated them with Al Qaeda; Laura Bush led a global initiative to highlight the oppression of women and children by the Taliban. But the Taliban turned out to be only the most resilient soldiers who defended their soil against the occupiers.
But what has a motley Taliban done to change the political framework in the region? By simply standing in their frail strongholds and smashing the waves of perverse change on their breasts, have they diverted the waves of change into paths of their own liking? Maybe only time will answer this question, yet there are some symbolic validations that point to a changed geopolitics!
Regional stability is only possible if all states in a region are at peace with each other and share common interests. The US invasion of Afghanistan potentially stripped Afghanistan of a regional entity that would remain permanently in conflict with Russia, China and Pakistan, and that would seek to integrate with Central Asian states and the United States. India, while Iran remains undecided because of its envy of the United States. Such a link would only increase instability and keep the possibility of an imminent war for all. The Taliban, on the other hand, by ousting the United States, has opened up the possibility of an Afghanistan friendly to Pakistan, and one that can potentially integrate Central Asia, Russia, China and Iran into common interests. because none of these states represent a military threat. to the other.
Since the US-Taliban withdrawal agreement of February 2020, China has emboldened to participate in the Afghan peace process. China struck a $ 400 billion oil-for-investment deal with Iran in March this year; previously, through its entry into Ladakh, China changed the mood of the Modi government from an aggressive government towards Pakistan, Kashmir and China, to a rather passive one. In April, Russia offered Pakistan a âblank checkâ when Sergey Lavrov told his Pakistani counterpart: âIf you are interested in pipelines, corridors, defense or any other cooperation, Russia is ready for it. that â. All this was possible because all these countries understood that a free and independent Afghanistan will be better than an occupied Afghanistan which will only engulf its occupier in atrocious anger. It may have taken more than two centuries since Catherine the Great, the Great Game, and the two long wars with Afghanistan, for the budding superpowers to learn this lesson – that no military power is stronger than the United States. “Will of a people”.
Diverting the waves of change into other paths, as discussed above, is not a new phenomenon among Afghans. They did so when they hijacked British entry into the Anglo-Afghan wars, becoming the buffer between Britain and Russian collusion in the heart of Asia. They diverted the Russian movement towards the Arabian Sea and, conversely, brought about the independence of all the states of Central Asia and Eastern Europe that were part of the USSR. And now they have, by constantly shattering the pride of the United States and NATO, returned a wave that triggered the possibility of ousting American interests from Iraq, Syria and Libya, a task that Iran, Turkey and Russia have jointly concluded!
The Afghans, without saying the words, and without the media to spread their narrative, were nevertheless at the origin of the narrative that the United States and all its allies are not an invincible force and that they will defeat them, even if it takes their life. And in so doing, they changed the course of events on the world stage.
So what will be the internal scenario of post-withdrawal Afghanistan? News of the Taliban’s takeover of new neighborhoods comes daily, and it looks like they will be at Kabul’s doorstep by the time the withdrawal is complete. The Afghan armed forces that the United States has trained over the past 20 years are seen either on the run or crossing borders. These Afghan forces have never resisted for the simple reason that they are linked by material compensations and represent the interests of an outside occupation force. But the same men, if they are integrated into different Afghan factions that represent their ethnic units, may turn out to be the most furious fighters. Infighting and civil war therefore remain a possibility for Afghanistan – and the best scenario would be for Ghani and Abdullah, instead of visiting the White House, and trying to consolidate their crumbling power, to wake up to the news. reality of Afghanistan, make contact with their counterparts in Pakistan, Russia and China, and learn to compromise with the Taliban, who have proven to be more powerful in Afghanistan than the United States and NATO. All this so that Afghanistan can be put on a path of rapid development and progress.
For the region to be strong and prosperous, a necessary Afghanistan within it is a strong Afghanistan, endowed with a strong army and an independent foreign policy, and which is committed to the progress of its own people while remaining a integrated entity that integrates the interests of its regional partners.
For Pakistan, the best-case scenario would be to have an Afghanistan-Pakistan-Kashmir sub-region or bloc that stands for each other’s freedom and integrity – something they’ve been doing for centuries. without saying it, and something that can result in mutual pacts and defense agreements. This solidification of relations will bring awareness that no one should dare to interfere in these three regions in the near future. In addition, it will provide the stability necessary for the development of these States.
A future Afghanistan can hope to see a China-Afghanistan-Iran corridor, an Afghan-Pakistan corridor and several gas pipelines and connection roads pass through it. All this brings the promise of a future for the Afghans, after their long dark night of foreign intervention and repression.
Posted in The Express Tribune, July 2sd, 2021.
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