Amsterdam [Netherlands], September 9 (ANI): Experts and political leaders have argued that the Taliban administration is likely to face governance issues as Afghan society has changed significantly since the Taliban first lost control of the country in 2001.
Speaking at a webinar entitled “Afghanistan and the Regional Post – Taliban Takeover” organized by the Amsterdam-based think tank, European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) on Wednesday, they even expressed concern that Afghanistan proved to be a safe haven for Pakistan-based terrorist suits.
Nargis Nehan, former Afghanistan minister for mines, petroleum industry and founder of the NGO “Equality for Peace and Democracy”, claimed that the Taliban cabinet, recently announced by the group, failed to represent both gender and ethnic diversity in Afghanistan. The Taliban, she further claimed, did not represent a popular mass movement but had exploited endemic corruption in the country, the relative weakness of the Afghan security forces and the absence of unified national leadership.
The Taliban’s victory is said to be made possible by the 2020 Doha Agreement, which enabled the Taliban to finally ignore the pursuit of a more polarized peace process. That said, Nehan claimed that the military situation was deteriorating faster than usual and has now reached a stage where the Taliban’s victory is being treated as a final result of the international community, which has adopted a “wait and see” tactic.
The Taliban’s social policy and ideological orientation, Nehan argued, did not differ significantly from the first Taliban regime in power between 1996 and 2001. Nevertheless, the governance difficulties of a Taliban administration are different now, as Afghan people have shown civic awareness and have moved to resist the Taliban. .ex. through public protests.
“As Afghan society has changed significantly since the Taliban lost control of the country in 2001, the new Taliban administration is likely to face various governance issues,” she said.
Without advocating a Taliban regime, Nehan argued that new government designs and policies should focus on ensuring social cohesion and social peace. The international community, it was argued, should cooperate with the Taliban on a conditional basis that links aid rules to governance performance. In this context, communication channels should be established at the multilateral-collective level rather than at the unilateral-national level. Finally, she argued that humanitarian aid to the Panjshir Valley, which is being attacked by the Taliban, must be delivered as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Dr Dorothee Vandamme, Center for the Study of Crises and International Conflicts, EFSAS Research FellowResearch Fellow at the Genesys Network, focused his presentation on the role of the Pakistani military establishment in the modern runway in Afghanistan. Following the partition of British India in 1947, Dr Vandamme claimed, the Pakistani military establishment has focused on ensuring strategic equality with India and preventing encirclement along its eastern and western flanks. Historically, the military establishment has benefited from maintaining the threat perception as high threat perceptions validate and legitimize the existence and dictatorship of the Pakistani army internally in Pakistan as well as externally. The reproduction of alleged national security threats thus gives the military establishment a power base.
Regarding the Pakistan Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), described by Dr Vandamme as an almost “mythical” rumor, she claimed that the ISI has long adopted a strategy that has normalized political violence and affiliation with Islamist groups. The structural support for Mujahideen factions, the coordinated support for the Taliban and groups such as the Haqqani network are examples as ISI continues to provide funds, recruits, training, organizational coordination, direct military support and a safe haven.
Despite close historical ties between the Taliban and the ISI, Dr. Vandamme argued, relations between the two groups are not necessarily straightforward. “ISI’s influence over Taliban policy has been described as fluid over time, especially as the Taliban have sought to establish strategic autonomy. The Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan could also create long-term internal issues for Pakistan by exacerbating Pashtun irredentism and may also encourage Islamists in Pakistan. “, she said as she spoke at the webinar.
In addition, a renewed civil war in Afghanistan, for example between the Taliban and organizations such as the ISKP, could also have an effect on Pakistan. Dr Vandamme ended with the idea that the Taliban’s victory was a short-term success for Pakistan that could have negative long-term consequences for the country. Amid the weaknesses of the Pakistani civilian government, support for Islamist groups and inherent anti-Indian attitudes were identified as the cornerstones of the strategic culture of the Pakistani military establishment.
During the event, a question was answered about the possible interaction between the Taliban and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by Dr. Vandamme, who claimed that China is just waiting for Afghanistan to be stable so that possible deals like BRI can be established. She emphasized that this could mean a great deal of funding for the Taliban and that China was not interested in the human rights situation in Afghanistan but was waiting to exploit its potential.
Timothy Foxley – political / military analyst, former senior analyst for the British Ministry of Defense, the Swedish Ministry of Defense and SIPRI, and currently an EFSAS researcher, stated that the international community must be careful with current developments in Afghanistan. He told about the history of the conflict and claimed that not much has changed from 20 years ago.
He said, however, that the current Taliban government is a minority force with a monopoly on violence and seems to have very little popular support, especially given that its newly formed cabinet does not represent the political and ethnic diversity of the country. to make the group, not the ‘liberators’ as it likes to portray itself.
“Almost in an allegorical way, the ongoing fighting in the Panjshir Valley is from now on a rallying point for resistance, showing the Taliban’s mistakes that may occupy it but will not be able to control it, with local groups using guerrilla tactics,” he said. .
Dr Weeda Mehran, a lecturer at the University of Exeter, who specializes in warlords, conflicts and peacebuilding in Afghanistan, explained how the Taliban has been seen as a violent state actor who no longer enjoys the support of Afghan society. If the Taliban wants to remain in power, then it must mediate between providing control services and using force to consolidate control, otherwise it will face rebellion. Dr Mehran highlighted how the story of tolerance that the Taliban is trying to give is not reflected in practical behavior, and that this is particularly visible from its newly formed cabinet, which is extremely exclusive and thus lacks ethnic minorities or women. As a result, segregation is likely to become the norm and women’s rights remain uneasy.
Dr Merhan said that what eventually becomes visible is how the Taliban struggle with their own logic and thus become contradictory. For example, the current government consists of blacklisted individuals, which puts the international community in a very difficult position when it comes to recognizing a government with its officials listed on various terrorist sanction lists. If the Taliban were interested in seeking legitimacy, that is something they should have considered. In addition, she mentioned positively that due to social media, the voices of the opposition are difficult for the Taliban to silence, which is an event they were not prepared for. That said, if control is further consolidated, the Taliban could succeed in containing people’s access to communications technology.
Dr Merhan ended his speech by arguing that the Taliban’s promise not to turn Afghanistan into a safe haven for terrorists despite various window coverings is far from the truth, as many al-Qaeda, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and Islamic State fighters find refuge. in its territory. In addition, she reminded the panel not to ignore the fact that Haqqani Network members also held important positions in the newly formed government. (ANI)