Kabul’s Positive Signals

Ashraf Ansari

As the world held breath while witnessing Taliban sweeping Afghanistan to the point of Kabul falling to them, it was baffled by a relative calm that prevailed in the aftermath.

The Taliban took over the Afghan capital without any resistance by the Ashraf Ghani’s army. They entered the presidential palace without firing a bullet.

But even before fall of Kabul, the Taliban had captured the provincial capitals without fighting. One can deduce from this phenomenon that the Afghans in general, Taliban or non-Taliban had completely exhausted from conflict.

Even Taliban were no longer trigger happy. This metamorphosis in the psyche of the Afghans is a catalyst in kind.

Unfortunately, the Ashraf Ghani government and the Biden administration could not make assessment of this psychological development.

Otherwise, there could have been chance of some sort of compromise at Doha on a ceasefire and formation of an inclusive government but albeit sans Ashraf Ghani.

The Americans and Ashraf Ghani could not pick up enough courage to read the reality. The result is chaos.

There seem no signs of some agreement on forming an interim government inclusive of all ethnic entities. The Taliban are likely to form a government on the basis of exclusivity. Pakistan and other countries are urging Taliban to form an inclusive government in transition.

Though there is no armed resistance against the Taliban right now, there is danger of resistance from Panjshir valley.

The foremost task before the Taliban is to assure the general populace of the country of their intent to ensure human rights on the basis of their declaration of cessation of hostilities and general amnesty. T

he Taliban have also to ensure that Al-Qaida and other extremist groups do not find any haven in the country. The emergency session of the UN Security Council on Monday clearly conveyed to the Taliban, the sentiment of the international community.

Stress of the international community is on respecting human rights and political settlement based on giving representation to all ethnic communities.

Though the Doha peace process has not produced any positive result, the process must have been educative for the Taliban and others is no far as the desirability of an inclusive political system was concerned.

How tragic it is that for long 20 years, the Afghans and the invading US could not reach some agreement on adopting an inclusive political system that would have paved the way for exit of the US and its allies. The Afghans and the international community are back to square one after 20 years.

Losses on both sides are fabulous. It is not yet certain that the Taliban would be willing to lend some effort towards framing of a constitution based on consensus among all the ethnic or sectarian groups of Afghanistan.

However, the well-wishers of Afghanistan including Pakistan believe that only an inclusive political dispensation would herald an era of stability in that country.

The current posture of the Taliban leadership has kindled a ray of hope that the Taliban are willing to observe international norms.

They need to declare their solemn intent to set aside all fears being expressed by the international community.

The world, especially the major powers and neighbors are willing to join hands in the rehabilitation and development of Afghanistan.
China is keen to bring Afghanistan in the fold of CPEC.

Crux of the matter is that Afghanistan is at the thresh hold of an historic opportunity to emerge as a prosperous country, given its un-exploited mineral resources.

Pakistan, more than all other stake-holders, earnestly wishs the Taliban and other Afghan factions respond to the history’s call.

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