An inclusive government in Afghanistan? | By Prof Dr Muhammad Khan


An inclusive government in Afghanistan?

DESPITE announcement of their own name for the country; “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” the Taliban leadership seems to be inclined towards formation of an all-inclusive Government in Afghanistan.

This is clear from the consultation process and delay, taking place in the announcement of head of the Government and its cabinet members.

The inside sources of the Taliban leadership are of the view that, Taliban will be more moderate and apt in the formation of new Government in Afghanistan. It will be a model, acceptable to most of the Afghans if not all.

There will be no repeat of the format, Taliban followed from 1996-2001; the Government which could not get recognition of the international community except three Muslim states.

This has already announced by the Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid. Apart from assuring general amnesty for all including who have been working with US and NATO forces Zabihullah Mujahid announced and promised to protect the rights of women, a subject criticized more by western world with respect to Muslims, Afghanistan and the Taliban rule.

He said in his press conference that, Women’s rights will be strictly protected as per the framework of Islam.

It is to be noted that, Muslim women are most respected and given the rights more than the male family members. Western interpretations of the women rights may have different connotation and application.

Besides, he also promised freedom of media and amnesty for all including government officials.

In the same press conference he said, “I would like to assure the international community, including the United States, that nobody will be harmed. We don’t want any internal or external enemies.”

The speech and questions-answers session covered all aspects of the future format of the Taliban Government. No external enemies mean that, friendly relations with all states; regional as well as global.

Announcing an end of war in Afghanistan would mean prevalence of peace all over the country which suffered over four decades of foreign invasions and domestic unrests and infightings.

Indeed, the people of Afghanistan needs; peace, stability and economic prosperity after a continual chaos and civil war ever since 1979.

No foreign invaders; even U.S and NATO forces could really provide peace to the Afghan masses. If Taliban can be assured and provided durable peace and stability to Afghans, it will be a blessing in disguise for over 34 million people.

However, this has to be provided to all without any discrimination and to the level of personal freedom, right to expression and provision of all civic facilities.

Assurance that, ‘no group will be allowed to use Afghan territory for attacks against any other nation/country is a great gesture and foreign policy aspect of the future Taliban Government.

All bordering states of Afghanistan were apprehensive and fearful that the militants attacking their territories were given safe heavens by the spying network of Afghanistan; The National Directorate of Security (NDS).

With its headquarters in Kabul, NDS along with Indian RAW have been training, funding and harbouring all the terrorist groups operating in in Pakistan, Iran, China and some Central Asian states.

The neighbouring states may take a sigh of relief, if Taliban are able to control the activities of these two spying networks from Afghan soil. Indeed, instability within Afghanistan was largely because of NDS-RAW nexus.

A group of Afghan leaders representing diverse political, ethnic and sectarian people visited Pakistan while the Taliban were strengthening their hold over Kabul and rest of the provinces.

The members of this group were of the view that, “Taliban could capture the land but not the hearts of the people until they form an inclusive government and fulfil their commitments for the protection of rights of all communities, including minorities.”

This is indeed, a pertinent demand since Afghan population consists of diverse population, ethically, religiously, fictionally and above all socially and politically.

The past experience of Taliban rule was quite unpleased and fleeing of large numbers of Afghan from to Europe and America is one of the main of the main reason of that tyrant rule.

The continuous meetings between former President Hamid Karzai and Chairman of high council for national reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah with various leaders including Taliban leadership is also a positive step for a broad-based future government in Afghanistan.

There has to be reconciliation among all stakeholders which must get the consent of Taliban leadership without any rigid approach.

These leaders also met members of the Afghan parliament, women, elders, religious scholars, representatives of commanders of Panjshir Province and the former members of Afghan Government.

While the top Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has reached Kabul after his consultative mission in Kandahar, it is expected that, there will be more consultations between Taliban leadership and representatives of all other political parties and ethnic groups of Afghanistan.

Such a consultative process will help all stakeholders to form an all-inclusive government in Kabul which will have broader acceptance of everyone at home and abroad.

— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.

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