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“Afghan issue” with no taboos

Friday, September 14, 2012 - 18:41

It’s known that for quite a long time so-called "Afghan issue" is the focus of several scientific conferences, symposia, "round tables", but any serious and effective results haven’t been achieved. The situation in Afghanistan was a critical one and it remains so to this day.
More than ten years passed since the moment, as the commander of the British forces Roger Lane declared loudly and optimistically for the whole world that “the fight against “Al Qaeda” and the Taliban in Afghanistan is almost completed”, and that “the declaration of victory over the Taliban – won’t take months, but weeks”. However, the harsh reality is that the movement of “Taliban” still continues to provide strong resistance and to be active throughout the country, including its capital.
Allies of the antiterrorist coalition in Afghanistan failed to solve the main, official goal – to liquidate political and ideological foundation, and material base of the “Taliban” movement. Renowned Afghan politician and public figure Mr. Saleh Muhammad Registan, while speaking at the International Conference in Dushanbe in 2008, said that the Afghans are “practically face secondary return of Talibs and "Al-Qaeda" as if the war is just beginning”.
A few years ago only some experts and politicians said about the failure of the international antiterrorist operation in Afghanistan, but now the vast majority of them have come to this opinion. Moreover, even the representatives of the participating countries of the international anti-terrorist coalition, including the high-ranking politicians and military men, began to follow this position.
So why is Afghanistan and its suffering people in such a critical situation again? There are many reasons, and assumptions as well. Some people tend to blame the United States, Western countries and NATO forces, suggesting that they allegedly provoke destabilization in Afghanistan with a purpose to stay longer in a very important region from the point of strategy and economic, while being in which, they could keep under their control such countries, as Iran and China, as well as the production and transit of energy resources, uranium mining, etc.
Others see the reason in the inability and inaction of the government of Hamid Karzai, considering him a bad governor of United States. In spite of the fact that there were real chances for maintenance of political stability in the country with a help of formation of the new government, acceptance of the new constitution and holding of the presidential and parliamentary elections, Hamid Karzai's government not only didn't use them, but has started to make actions which have led to even greater split of the Afghan society. As a result, the country has turned again to the territory of sharp interethnic and interfaith enmity, and also permanent struggle for the survival of various groups.
The president of Afghanistan the Mr. Hamid Karzai sees the main reason for failures that «there is very strong intervention from the outside». He declared it repeatedly and accused embassies of the three neighboring countries of involvement in the creation of an opposition organization – the National United Front of Afghanistan.
However, we are deeply convinced that the main causes of failure and ineffectiveness of the international antiterrorist coalition in Afghanistan, as well as the government of Hamid Karzai are actually deeper and more serious than it seems at first glance. First, the international anti-terrorist coalition led by the United States could not maintain the unity of its ranks and supporters. The initial widespread support of the international community after the events of September 11, 2001, unfortunately, very quickly turned into a fight of geopolitical interests of the coalition participants. Thus, today Afghanistan has again become an arena where various geopolitical scenarios are played out. Interested states are doing their best to implement their plans, while ignoring the interests of other countries. Sometimes it seems that all countries have their own interests in Afghanistan, except Afghanistan itself and its people. Naturally, in such a situation, each country wants its rival to fail, just as it was with the United States in Vietnam or the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
Second, national ethic question is the most sore and relevant for Afghanistan, but not military or economic one. Paradoxically, it is a fact. Unfortunately, this problem is not solved either by the Shah's regime, nor under a communist, or under the current regime. Bitter experience of history shows that it’s possible to stake on one political or ethnic group by no means in Afghanistan, without fail it is necessary to consider interests of all people occupying the country, all political and religious forces. By the way, one of the main reasons of the Soviet empire crash was just that this question wasn't given enough attention. Today the same mistake is repeated by the USA and their allies on anti-terrorist fight.
And while these two reasons are not eliminated, the so-called “Afghan issue” will remain open for a long time.
To deduce Afghanistan from a crisis situation, it is necessary to make the following, in our opinion. First, to pull together geopolitical interests of the states maximally in the name of global-scale issues, such as ensuring stability and safety in the region and in the world.
It should be noted that the external factor always was very appreciable in the Afghan problem. It’s enough to tell that there were practically no more or less essential political events which wouldn't feel the influence of an external factor in modern and contemporary history of Afghanistan. Geopolitical rivalry of the interested states in this country began in the 30th years of the XIX century between England and imperial Russia. Subsequently, in the 80-90th years of the XX century, it found the continuation in fierce military-political fight of the Afghan Mujahideens against the pro-communistic government of Afghanistan. Some of them were supported by the USA and their satellites, respectively, the others – by the Soviet Union.
However, the influence of external factor on the social and political life of Afghanistan has never been so clear and decisive, as it is now. Afghanistan turned, in a literal sense of this word, in a platform of implementation of the most various geopolitical projects of big, average and small international and regional players, such as the USA, Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, the countries of Europe and Central Asia, etc. Each of these players, using a critical situation and uncertainty in Afghanistan, conducts the game.
In order to avoid further development of destructive processes in the region it is extremely important, in our opinion, to bring together the geopolitical interests of these countries maximally for the sake of solving the issue of global scale which is ensuring stability and security in the region and the world. Otherwise the consequences could be unpredictable and irreversible.
Secondly, in order to exit from the crisis, it is necessary for Afghanistan to achieve real national peace and trust among the various peoples inhabiting it, which is impossible without their social equality and social justice.
A retrospective look at events that took place in Afghanistan over the past two decades shows that neither the communist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, nor the government of Mujahideen, or Islamic State of Afghanistan, headed by Professor Burkhaniddin Rabbani, nor, especially, the Taliban regime did not match the true requests of motley Afghan society. In the best case, the called governments expressed the interests of particular ethnic or political and religious groups, but no more. Therefore, none of them has not received universal support and approval of the Afghan people. Without exception they were originally destined for a temporary existence.
Therefore, at the solution of the Afghan problem it is necessary to consider as much as possible, first of all, interests of all ethnic groups living in Afghanistan. Infringement of the interests of even the scanty ethnicity of this country surely will have an effect, as it was more than once.
The government of Hamid Karzai, the United States and its Western allies have recently hatched a project of peace with the movement of "Taliban" and aggressively promote it. For this purpose, they directly and indirectly, openly and secretly began to establish contacts with the leaders of the Taliban. Afghan president sees the only way for the further development of the country which is in the conclusion of peace with the movement of "Taliban". He declared such an idea in February 2009 in Munich and in January 2010 in London at the international conferences on Afghanistan. This issue was discussed at a closed meeting of the "War Cabinet" of the President Barack Obama in March 2010. UNO Secretary General Pan Ki Moon also spoke for the talks with the Taliban at the Security Council meeting. Obviously, the USA and its allies are aggressively looking for a way out of the Afghan impasse in which they find themselves.
There is quite a reasonable question which sounds like how is the mechanism, on which the West has high hopes, well thought-out? Whether it will turn into the next fiasco for them how it already was with the operation “Indestructible freedom” and the plan of global fight against the international terrorism and religious extremism in Afghanistan?
The fact is that although theoretically peace with the "Taliban" is possible, but in practice there are a number of important factors that give rise to serious doubts in that. So, if illogically, and without taking into account the dynamics of the real situation, the world with Talibs is imposed to the people of Afghanistan and the coalition government is created, the result is fraught with several dangers, not only for Afghanistan itself, but for the entire Central Asian region. This could provoke a new full-scale civil war between the Taliban and pro-Taliban forces in the new government and the rest of Afghan society, represented by numerous national, political and religious forces in Afghanistan, which in its turn will lead to even greater split of the country along ethnic, political and religious grounds.
The governor of Bamiyan Ms. Habiba Sarobialso also predicts the fact that the civil war in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the West is inevitable: “If the West leaves, civil war will begin again in the country and the Talibs will be only one of participants”. There will be a "Talibanisation" of Afghanistan's political system, i.e., violent extremism, radicalism and fanaticism, obscurantism and sectarianism of the "Taliban" movement will be legitimized. Especially that last year, Hamid Karzai publicly stated that he was ready to join the movement "Taliban", calling it a "national liberation".
If in so-called “first coming” of “Taliban” (1996-2001) the international community rejected them, so at this time, probably, the USA and their allies will try to promote the international recognition of Talibs. And the most terrible is that the "talibanization" will infect also the neighboring states of Afghanistan, first of all Pakistan and the states of Central Asia. In that case there will be a real possibility to achieve the old dream for "Taliban" movement – “the expansion of jihad outside of Afghan territory”, for example, in Kashmir, Pakistan, Central Asia, the Russian Federation, etc., as well-known French scholar of Islam Giles Kepel warns.
In this regard, we must not forget the fact that it is the "Taliban" which was and remains a pillar of the Islamic Movement of Turkestan (the militants of which once invaded the territory of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan), and Uighur separatists in China. Thousands of foreign radicals, which are alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan, conspire the overthrow of the government in their own countries and the establishment of Taliban-type state in their homeland. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates recalled the fact during his visit to India in January 2010, that the "Taliban" and "Al-Qaeda" has such intentions.
In addition, there is a strong possibility that after the re-assertion of their power in Afghanistan, the Taliban, while being extremist Pashtun nationalists, will certainly raise again the slogan of Pashtunistan association, i.e. the accession to Afghanistan of the occupied Pashtuns and even Baluchis of the Pakistan provinces.
In such a possible development of the situation, of course, threats and challenges emanating from Afghanistan, will grow at a heightened pace, and would negate all the efforts of the international community in combating terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking. "Taliban" threatens the security not only in Central Asia, the countries of the Eurasian continent, but around the world.
On our deep belief, at the present time the only correct way out of the situation in Afghanistan is not peace with the "Taliban", but the formation of an independent state and the legitimate government of national unity, which would ensure social equality and social justice, and would satisfy all the nations and peoples, living in this country, as well as national, political and religious forces and groups. Without the creation of such a state and a normally functioning government that supports peace and harmony within the state, a complete withdrawal of foreign troops will not only lead to national disaster in this country, which in itself is undesirable, but also endanger the entire security system of the Central Asian region.
If these problems are not solved, then, whether we like it or not, the situation in Afghanistan remains critical and unattended for a long time, and the challenges and threats emanating from this country will be more and more dangerous for the region and the world. In addition, in order to understand the essence of visible and invisible processes in Afghanistan, there is absolutely no need to repeat the events of September 11. This tragic lesson is enough for humanity for a long time.
Proceeding from all aforesaid, it is possible to summarize that development of a military-political situation in Afghanistan still goes in the adverse direction for the world community and the prospects of the region development in many respects depend on what way will Afghanistan choose. Therefore, we consider it expedient to convene a summit conference with the participation of the states’ heads directly affecting the military-political situation in Afghanistan (Iran, Pakistan, India, China, Russia, the USA, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan), as well as regional and international organizations (UNO, the OSCE, SCO, CSTO, IP) and attempt to resolve long-standing issues that affect the future of Afghanistan, as well as stability and security in the region and the world.



URL of this article:
http://easttime.info/analytics/afghanistan/afghan-issue-no-taboos