TOLERANT OR TURBULENT? TALIBAN 2.0

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Aysha J Khan

Afghanistan, a war ravished and one of poorest countries in the world is bleeding yet again.  The month of August has everyone hanging by a thread not just in Afghanistan but the whole region. The swift and tactful, capture of the country by Taliban has startled the world. The fall of Kabul was most unexpected this soonand fast. Taliban took up the baton and secured the city without any bloodshed.

Taliban claim to have reinvented themselves, the eloquent press conferences, educated  and presentable men, social media savvy with English proficiency, slight foreign accents and also promises of compassion and leniency has the world perplexed since horrors of the 1990s Taliban rule is engraved on heartsof afghans especially the women who suffered the most due to them.

Kabul is in turmoil, with chaos on some parts and business as usual in other parts of the city, the Airport being flash point showing images of bewildered afghans and foreigners in thousands trying to escape in sloppy haphazardness.  Situation in rest of Afghanistan is not a pretty picture either. There is also fighting going on in the Panjsher valley which is the home ground of Ahmed Masood son of late Ahmed shah Masood leader of Northern alliance who refuse to give up to Taliban.

In all this madness, if the American troops lingers on their deadline of 31st August 2021 once again, and decide to stay longer, this will surely aggravate Taliban since their pact will again be broken by USA and there is a big chance of face off which can result in a bloodbath. Surely both sides should avoid this situation by all means available.Afghans have a capricious relationship with Pakistan too, on our part Pakistan has opened its Chaman (Baluchistan) border with Afghanistan as well as the Embassy is robustly facilitating all people and all nationalities who contact to be evacuating from Kabul. 

If all this isn’t enough to keep  common afghans terrified of their future, $9 billion dollars Afghan aid has been frozen by international organizations to pressurize Taliban into submission, Thisshall have devastating backlash on Afghan economy. The country will starve, Sanctions is not the answer. The 38 million afghans, majority living below poverty line should not suffer due to Taliban. My appeal to western nations is to rethink the outcome of this decision. In order to bring whole Afghanistan together and create some harmony, is it all that bad to give Taliban a chance to prove themselves if they walk the talk of their tall claims of having a rebirth and adheres by the international laws and freedom to women, religious, cultural rights to all citizens and comply with power sharing of all stake holders, they’re not going away anytime soon anyway.The world will eventually acknowledge their presence sometime in future if not now. Why must whole Afghanistan suffer due to Taliban? Russia, China, Qatar are already in talks with them. Pakistan has reiterated to work with Afghanistan and pledged support with whoever afghans choose as their government.

Afghanistan deserves peace and stability like any other nation in the world. Time to give them tools to stand on their own feet. Their country has been depleted by world powers and regional stakeholders to play out their global and national agendas since a longest time. Afghanistan must be given a chance to breathe again and normalize. The least, the world and USA/NATO in particular can do is not to abandon nor sanction Afghanistan but advance and rehabilitate in accordance with their covenant 20 years ago.