Taliban rule, one year on

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PEOPLE of Afghanistan, on Monday, observed the first anniversary of the withdrawal of foreign occupation forces and assumption of power in Kabul by the Taliban, vowing to defend the country’s sovereignty and independence at all costs in the face of a multitude of problems and challenges.

While the biased Western media, for understandable reasons, focused only on negative aspects like human rights and status of women, it has to be appreciated that, defying all projections, the Taliban Government was able to consolidate its hold and its overall policies sent a highly positive message to region and beyond that it has the capability to deliver on its pledges of a peaceful, secure and united Afghanistan.

In the backdrop of bitter experience of several decades when Afghanistan witnessed extreme factionalism and infighting, the world must acknowledge that the Taliban have provided the country a strong and united Government and one saw no worthwhile opposition to their rule during the last one year, which is a clear proof of its legitimacy at home.

There are, of course, issues of external legitimacy, acceptance and recognition but the denial of recognition by the outside world is not based on merit but imperialistic thinking and approach by some powerful countries that want to have continued leverage to determine the fate of Afghan people through uncalled-for intrusive policies and action.

In fact, right from the day they assumed power, the Taliban did nothing that warrants its Government’s non-recognition as the transition was remarkably peaceful, there was no victimization of the opponents as was being feared, they adopted the policy of peaceful co-existence of all communities, encouraged participation of all segments of the society in the task of rebuilding, re-opened educational institutions and, above all, gave firm assurances that Afghan soil would not be allowed to be used against any other country.

There might have been some failures but these can be attributed to the logistic shortcomings that have been compounded by the non-cooperative attitude of the global community.

Despite non-recognition, the Taliban pursued a strong and clear foreign policy, sent and received numerous delegations to and from other countries, pursued a number of development projects with bearing on regional connectivity and increased bilateral trade with Pakistan and China.

For the outside world, Afghanistan is related to the issues of extremism and terrorism but the country has the potential to become a regional hub of connectivity and trade provided its legitimate Government is recognized, frozen assets released and those who played a role in the destruction of the country provide necessary support and assistance for reconstruction and development.

 

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