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Friday, February 16, 2024

An important message from Afghanistan!

The Taliban declared the restoration of their Islamic Emirate, days before the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks that sparked the U.S. invasion in Afghanistan. The new government places core hard-line leaders in top positions and excludes women minorities, belying its earlier assurances that it would be representative of all Afghans. Talha Ahmad, a freelance journalist reminds us of the humanitarian and economic crises that Afghanistan is facing at the moment and how the international community should take an immediate action.

Nations, countries, or groups define some goals and objectives, and design strategies to achieve those certain goals and objectives. In fact, sometimes that strategy involves the use of force that eventually leads to war in order to achieve those defined goals and objectives. But there is a unique war in history that was fought not for achieving some goals or objectives but to search for some strategy to achieve some goals which were defined by the outcome of that war. Tens of thousands of people eligible to resettle in the U.S. and other countries are still trapped in Afghanistan after the last American troops left the country, ending an international airlift.

As a result of this failure to design any strategy to fight an objectiveness war, the greatest military might in the history of mankind signed the Doha Peace deal with the Taliban. The Afghanistan chapter of the War on terror war came to an end with US C-17 carrying the last remaining US soldiers left Kabul on 31 August 2021, putting an end to a years-long war but with this transporter leaving, 39 million Afghan’s future was left on auto-pilot mode. The success of the US mission in Afghanistan got exposed even before the US mission ended in Afghanistan, with the US-backed Kabul regime collapsing even before the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Read more: What is the future of bilateral ties between Afghanistan and Iran?

The collapse or the rise of new Afghanistan?

The scenes the world witnessed during the withdrawal followed by ISKP attacks, described the picture of what was about to unfold in Afghanistan. This collapse of whole state structure and dubious transaction of power from the Afghan government to Taliban paved the way for a vacuum, leaving the whole country without any framework, constitution, institutions and regime to deal with the immediate political, security and humanitarian crisis. This means future Afghanistan is currently dealing with four major issues- Political structure, Afghan Government International standing, economy and security.

The headlines from the political theater are that the Taliban are in the driving seat, even though they have assured the International community that they will work on an Inclusive government but on the ground it would be My way or Highway. With Taliban dominating the political arena of Afghanistan. The majority of Afghan opposition leaders including Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Vice President Amrullah Saleh, warlord Rasheed Dostum have already fled the country. To deal with the immediate crisis, the Afghan Taliban have announced the Interim government, but the world has yet to respond to the calls for recognition of the government as the definition of ‘Inclusive Government’ is subjective.

For IEA it means all and everything within the Taliban movement for the world it means all and everything outside the Taliban. Just this week Taliban foreign minister held meetings with different ambassadors and is on a mission around the world is paving the way for recognition of the new Afghan government. Till now no country has decided to change the direction of the wind, but this might be influenced by the other issues that are economic, humanitarian and security crises.

Read more: Why there’s an urgent need for democracy in Afghanistan?

An economic and humanitarian catastrophe

The economic crisis is getting worse day by day because the US has frozen the $9 billion foreign reserves of the Afghanistan state, followed by calls for sanctions in the US and European Union. This economic crisis would be followed by a humanitarian crisis, 72% of Afghans live under the poverty line and as per UNDP by 2022 the number will reach 97%. Many countries are sending food supplies and many have pledged to give aid. This week G20 has pledged $1billion for Afghanistan. But the biggest flaw with this approach is the instability at the core that is the state structure. This foreign aid will help the Afghans in the short term but what they need at the moment is a strong stable government that can increase trade, develop infrastructure to create jobs.

For that, they need the $9 billion reserves to deal with the ongoing monetary crisis, International recognition and support. This is not a choice but a compulsion for the regional as well as global powers, as no one can afford refugee influx followed by a serious security crisis. Pakistan has already refused to accept more refugees as already is hosting 3million, similarly, other countries are also reluctant. On the other hand, ISKP is already making roads into Afghanistan. In just the last few months has carried out around 50 attacks including two major on two consecutive Fridays, resulting in 100’s of civilian casualties.

Read more: What happened to India’s drug trafficking network in Afghanistan?

The current Afghan government not only lacks the resources but also lacks a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy. The humanitarian and economic crisis would only help ISKP and other terrorist organizations that are aiming to gain big from such a state of affairs. It’s time for all heads to roll and adopt a joint approach on Afghanistan in order to avert this immediate crisis, otherwise, Afghanistan will end up another Syria for the world.


Talha Ahmad is a Freelance Journalist and can be reached on Twitter at @talhaahmad967. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.