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The dilemma of Afghanistan and future prospects.

Byline: Zulqarnain Sewag,

Iqbal said around hundred years ago about future of Afghanistan that the verdict of history is that buffer states have never been able to form themselves into great political units. So was the case of Syria-a buffer state between the Empire of Rome and that of Persians. It seems difficult to forecast the future of Afghanistan. He was very right. History is witness that Afghanistan has never been remained a peaceful and serene territory. Hindustan was also multi times invaded from this side.

Afghans have some strengths that never let them loose. The prominent is their guerrilla art of war and second important is that they have nothing to lose. They are physically strong, live in caves and mud mix houses, ate simple food and are industry free. Their poppy has overwhelmed the whole world.

Keeping aside the past of this country, Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 has proved lethal not only for Russia itself but for the whole world as well. USSR suffered a death blow in 1990 and was completely disintegrated paving way for USA to become not only single super power and player in the world political, economic and technological arena but also to engrave its own version of World Order on the fates and cheeks of nations. It got a chance to defeat Russia and communism with one arrow. It succeeded as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia supported it.

In the year 1990, in the meeting of Peshawar Shura, Iran and Russia emphasised to formulate a coalition government in Afghanistan representing all communities but on opposition from Pakistan and KSA, the country was left to fight a civil war from 1992-1996 which ultimately and formally ended when in 1996 with the help of Pakistan, Taliban twisted there Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Since then, the people of Northern Alliance consider Pakistan their bitter enemy even more astringent than Taliban. After the outbreak of 9/11, Quetta Shura was formulated by the key Taliban. It extensively worked until some of its commanding members were detained by ISI in 2010. Though, many of them have been sent back during prisoner's transfer deal back to Afghanistan in recent past. But its centralism and importance still exist.

Following prospects are likely to emerge in Afghanistan in different but most important sectors. At this point in time, Afghanistan is passing through political volatility and instability. Induction of new president is not decided so far. Abdullah Abdullah who is generally Non-Pashtoon seems not better fit to the Afghanistan which is majorly Pashtoon populace. Ashraf Ghani may perhaps put better impacts.

Taliban cannot be put aside from the power circle. They will definitely demand to have at least their own governors in different provinces. Dialogues are still in limbo though USA has freshly called Taliban a party at war and not terrorists. Another question arises, if government is formed, how will it meet its finances? How will it fulfil even its daily proceedings? Bilateral Security Agreement, if it is signed as is going to be proclaimed by the both presidential candidates but it will remain deaf and dumb. It is handicapped to ward off the posed terrorization.

Another issue is of Military shakiness. Afghanistan security forces both army and police are comprised of 380000 personnels. Their annual expenditure is about $4.7 Billion.

They have just got twelve weeks professional training that is as lesser as it could be. Equipments available with the forces are not enough to cater needs even though NATO forces are agreed to handover them their war equipments. However, the transferring of these instruments is still uncertain and under the whirl of doubts.

Another issue in forces is that they are consisted of mostly people akin to Northern Alliance who are unswerving threat to Taliban. Among the forces, there is definite presence of pro-Taliban recruits. And forces may possibly also divide on tribal basis.

Another issue is of ethnic imbalance. Non-Pashtoons are trying to overpower Pashtoon tribes which is not only impossible but devastative in its nature as well. Hazaras, Uzbeks and Tajiks are striving for greater influence and strong hold. They in addition are getting supports from their respective originate countries.

Afghanistan has no definite source of income. Its economy is in shatters. Since the day, USA has announced the date of withdrawal, the prices of real states have fallen even more than fifty percent. Many companies which have invested millions of dollars are shifting their investments to other countries due to expected uncertainty in coming months. Drug traffickers are the members of incumbent government. Thus, they are not only promoting opium production but also making millions in black money in spite of halting efforts.

USA has announced pulling out of its own and allied forces from Afghanistan. By the end of this year it will maintain only 9800 troops. And in 2016, it will have complete withdrawal applying zero option. This has opened another chapter of insecurity in the world and especially in the region when China too is worried about instability in its Xingjian province. At this juncture, withdrawal if it is made without accurate calculations, and the country is left in the lurch, once again anarchy is inevitable.

In Pakistan, since the time Raheel Sharif has taken the charge of COAS, he is repulsing every action of the insurgents in more stern ways. An operation is under way in the NWA. Taliban have fled and are fleeing from this agency and hiding in safe heavens most probably in Afghanistan. Pakistan here needs a full fledge operation as it did in Swat. The union of Taliban again there will definitely create nuisance, and situation of 1990's may revise.

Taliban better know the weaknesses of the state. It becomes very difficult for a satellite country to run its affairs especially when the donning countries discontinue funding. If Taliban in Afghanistan are not given due share in the political amphitheatre, Afghanistan will another time face a civil war and this time it will be more dreadful and catastrophic. Al-Qaida too can join hands with Taliban at that point in time. And all insurgents and extremists from Pakistan, Central Asia, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Xinjiang and other vulnerable countries even from West may form a united alliance that would challenge the world security.

Pakistan will likely observer peace till by the end of the following year or so but the epidemic in Afghanistan will once again sting it. Regional countries, if USA applies complete withdrawal may endeavour reverberation of their policies of 1990's. That gap of security lapse will definitely be filled by the Taliban. After Syria and Pakistan, Afghanistan may become the centre of proxy war between KSA and Iran.

If the contemporary leaders including the regional heads wanted to keep the world safe and sound, they must have to devise a collective policy keeping aside favouritism and conceited interests in collaboration with the representatives from all segments in Afghanistan. Regional countries can play more productive and pivotal role in this regard. Withdrawal must only be made when the parties are reached at a peaceful co-existence agreement. Otherwise, world will soon witness a civil war, another flux of refugees and gravest breach of human rights.
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Publication:Frontier Post (Peshawar, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jun 9, 2014
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