Troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan without peace deal to dent regional security

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Zubair Qureshi

The geopolitical experts from different countries of the region have warned of the worst consequences of pulling out the US-Nato troops from Afghanistan without any sustainable peace deal.

It would lead the region to geopolitical chaos, instability and rise of insurgency as seen on the first day of the drawdown from the Kandahar Airfield.

About 150 lives perished in an armed fight between the Afghan soldiers and the Taliban to capture the vacated airfield.

They said the investment made for almost 20-years in Afghanistan against terrorism and lives sacrificed are likely to go waste in hurriedly withdrawal of the troops.

Somehow, it seems intentional and strategic on part of the US and Nato to dent the ever-increasing Chinese, Russian and Iranian strategic and economic interests in the region.

Economically weaker, Pakistan has to suffer more with the rise of insurgency particularly on its border areas with Afghanistan.

Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) and DTN had organized the regional webinar on “Pulling out the US-NATO troops from Afghanistan without any sustainable peace mechanisms – Repercussions for the Region.”

The guest speakers included former ISI chief and geopolitical analyst retired Lt General Muhammad Asad Durrani, former senator Farhatullah Babar, senior journalist from Pakistan Rahimullah Yousafzai, Beijing-based China Centre for Globalization chief Victor Gao, senior journalist from Washington Anwar Iqbal, geopolitical commentator and broadcaster from UK Reham Khan, PhD scholar on Afghanistan affairs from India Chayanika Saxena, and Dr. Somaye Morovati, an expert from Iran on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed conducted and hosted the webinar.

General Durrani said a sustainable peace mechanism post the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is indeed desirable but also an uphill task.

Several rounds of talks were managed but the parties could not agree to the mechanisms proposed.

Taliban were not convinced on the power-sharing as proposed and discussed in the larger perspective.

Rahimullah Yousafzai was of the view that the 20-year war was not won by the US and Nato but it were the Taliban who won the Doha negotiations and today we see the pull out as a result of that.

Without ensuring their fair role in the future of Afghanistan, Taliban will not accept anything but may join the Istanbul talks afterwards.

There is fear of a surge in the radicalization in Afghanistan and its spillover to neighbouring countries.

So, all the countries and stakeholders in the region shall join hands for a consolidated peace deal.

Victor Gao suggested that the UN Security Council should call an urgent meeting to discuss the issue as the US cannot leave Afghanistan in such an irresponsible way.

There is a huge task of reconstruction and rebuilding of the economy by engaging natives and Taliban. America shall allocate sufficient funds for post drawdown development in Afghanistan.

Reham Khan said war that was started to end terrorism has ended rather unceremoniously with America leaving those they accused of terror activities, the Taliban, with a dominant role in Afghanistan.

Anwar Iqbal said America could not permanently stay in Afghanistan to manage the forces there.

They need to strike a win-win situation while the regional peace should be taken up by all other stakeholders too.