Save the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan
PLEASE let me take the opportunity to draw your attention to the situation in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The US, in spite of signing an agreement with the Taliban, is withholding Afghanistan’s $10 billion foreign exchange reserves.
Moreover, some western media outlets are creating a hype about killings in Afghanistan, women’s rights, etc even though Taliban have not resorted to any reprisals or retributions.
In fact, they have declared general amnesty for all. Moreover, the Taliban government has stated that there will be no barriers on women’s education and employment.
These actions by the US government and media outlets are creating the impression of an antagonistic western response to the new government in Afghanistan. This is not helpful for the development of friendly relations between Afghanistan and the West.
Recently, the Taliban government stated that they will introduce Shariah punishments. While I agree with the implementation of Islamic laws in an Emirate established in the name of Islam, I feel the sequencing of Islamic laws is very important.
Together we can try to convince the new government in Afghanistan that Islamic musavaat-based society should be created before punishments are implemented.
Otherwise, they will disillusion the world with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Taliban should first establish an open, free and just society, where all the basic needs of the citizens are met.
Once such a society has been established, the next sequence of reforms can be implemented. But let’s not start with sever punishments before we have established a free, fair and transparent society.
But in order to convince the Taliban to our line, we need to recognize the new government and establish a line of communication with them.
Moreover, Afghanistan has a lot to give to the world and a lot to take from the world. The country is stated to be sitting on $ 3 trillion worth of lithium, uranium, copper, gold, barite, chromite, coal, iron ore, lead, natural gas, petroleum, sulfur, salt, zinc, talc and rare earths, while gemstones include lapis lazuli, emerald, ruby and red garnet.
While Afghanistan can benefit from the development of its mineral resources, countries that have such an expertise also stand to benefit.
And this is possible only through building a friendly and working relationship with the Taliban government.
For the last 40 years Afghanistan has been involved in conflicts and wars and has lost its infrastructure, while institutional development could not be undertaken.
European countries can help develop Afghan infrastructure and institutions, e.g. schools, colleges, vocational training institutions, universities which will again be to the mutual benefit of both the parties. And all this requires recognition of the new government and establishing dialogue with them.
I am sure regional countries will be happy to collaborate with Afghanistan to seize the tremendous opportunities that Afghanistan is offering. But some of these could be exploited by Europe for the mutual benefit of both.
—The writer is a diplomatic and political researcher, columnist and journalist based in London.