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Way forward for area after US exit from Afghanistan

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The tempo at which Taliban in Afghanistan are capturing metropolis after metropolis, is astounding to say the least. After President Biden’s announcement to withdraw forces from the nation, Taliban-controlled areas have elevated nearly three-fold. The latest seize of Spin Boldak – Chaman border crossing, now implies that the Taliban management commerce routes with Pakistan, Iran and Uzbekistan. The revenues so collected will assist them run their authorities affairs.  

Taliban successes normally, and within the northern areas the place they didn’t have a lot success even after they dominated Afghanistan particularly, are shocking. They’re taking district after district with none battle and even slightest resistance from the Afghan Nationwide Military (ANA).  Give up with out resistance means that the ANA was neither well-trained nor well-equipped.  If that’s the case, the place did all of the funding and tools go? This duty lies squarely with the Afghan authorities which siphoned off cash into their private accounts. It’s broadly identified that US Particular Consultant Zalmay Khalilzad and Washington have been additionally conscious of the extent of corruption each, within the Afghan authorities and those that may wield energy and affect. Due to this fact, the US additionally shares the blame for failing to recognise or wanting the opposite means on the corruption and poor state of the ANA. Nonetheless, to cover their failures and corruption, the Afghan authorities and officers proceed guilty Pakistan on one pretext or the opposite. 

The US has misplaced its longest ever conflict after having spent nearly 2 trillion {dollars}. It additionally finds it simple guilty Pakistan for her defeat and helps the Afghan narrative. 

A latest tweet by the primary Vice President of Afghanistan Amrullah Saleh, blaming Pakistan Air Power for issuing an official warning to Afghan Military and Air Power is one other addition in a collection of lies. He claimed that PAF had warned that any makes an attempt to dislodge the Taliban from Spin Boldak can be repelled. Whereas Pakistan strongly refuted the declare, Amrullah couldn’t substantiate his assertion. 

The newest try and malign and pressurize Pakistan was the alleged abduction and torture drama of the Afghan Ambassador’s daughter in Islamabad.  Regardless of lack of cooperation by the alleged sufferer and her household, investigation by Pakistani regulation enforcement companies unearthed the true info, which have been fairly opposite to the household’s claims. To keep away from embarrassment, the Afghan authorities recalled its Ambassador. As if already deliberate, the Afghan Ambassador, his daughter and full embassy workers, together with all communication tools, bolted from Islamabad.

Whereas the shortage of apparatus held by ANA and its poor efficiency in opposition to the Taliban proves past any doubt monetary corruption by the Afghan management, such baseless accusations additionally show the extent of integrity of incumbent Afghan management. Moreover, utilizing an Ambassador’s daughter for such plots additionally highlights the extraordinarily low ethical requirements of the Afghan authorities.  

Given the presence of a lot of troops, contractors and advisers, the US should have identified the extent of corruption in addition to the precise state of coaching of personnel and tools held by the ANA.  

Being absolutely cognizant of the capabilities and limitations of the ANA in addition to the Taliban, the US determination of a hurried withdrawal suggests sinister designs. Actually, the US forces additionally didn’t even hassle at hand over bases being vacated to the Afghan navy. Departure of US forces from Bagram in the course of the night time is a living proof. Such US actions prompted loot and arson.  

The Northern Alliance was vehemently in opposition to any talks between the US and Taliban. After the beginning of US troop withdrawal, Taliban centered on northern Afghanistan and their speedy successes counsel that their advances have been primarily based on credible intelligence.  

Concurrently, the US can be endeavor air strikes in opposition to the Taliban, at chosen locations. This means that the US not solely deliberate to depart Afghanistan to a possible civil conflict, however can be enjoying an lively position to make sure that the turmoil impacts your complete area. This idea is additional strengthened by India’s position in Kabul. India, the US’ strategic accomplice within the area, whereas attempting onerous to have interaction Taliban, can be supplying weapons to the Afghan authorities, thus growing the possibilities of a bloody civil conflict. Each India and the US are additionally prone to help the warlords to maintain the nation in a state of inside conflict.  

Pakistan shares an nearly 2700km lengthy porous border with Afghanistan. Taliban advances are prone to embolden Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Civil conflict in Afghanistan will even drive folks to take refuge in Pakistan. Refugee inflow will even assist miscreants to enter Pakistan with ease. This can create inside safety issues and adversely have an effect on the nation’s financial circumstances in addition to have interaction the navy in counterterrorism operations. Taliban successes within the North will even present the US a chance to create instability in China by means of infiltrations.    

Pakistan, subsequently, must tread very fastidiously. Whereas many, together with the incumbent Afghan authorities, would endeavour to create a civil war-like scenario, Pakistan in session with nations neighbouring Afghanistan should make efforts for a negotiated settlement. Whatever the irresponsible statements coming from the Afghan authorities, Pakistan ought to keep away from knee-jerk reactions. On the similar time, the Afghan folks should perceive that the current regime in Kabul is the largest hurdle within the peace course of. On the first indicators of Kabul’s collapse, they’ll all head out to nations by which they’re in search of asylum. 

–The author has served as Pakistan’s Air Adviser at New Delhi from 2002-2006, and is presently Director Strategic Defence & Safety on the Centre for Aerospace & Safety Research (CASS). He could be reached at cass.thinkers@gmail.com.



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