It’s not clear which Taliban elements will be in charge now that the Taliban are back in power. Friends and neighbours of Afghanistan must identify and encourage the more moderate leaders of the group.
Although Kabul had been captured, and the Afghan government had crumbled, the days and nights that followed were unusually peaceful. The majority of shops and enterprises are closed for the evening. Ordinary Afghans have taken refuge in their homes and are unable to leave. A police force of Taliban is guarding the city from marauders. Despite the relative calm, Afghans are faced with a tremendous realisation: they now live in an entirely new country, one that was once their home.
President Joe Biden, while justifying his decision to pull out all American soldiers from Afghanistan, conceded that the events proceeded “more fast” than the US leaders had predicted. Because Afghanistan’s political leaders, including President Ashraf Ghani, “resigned and departed the nation,” and the Afghan military “collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight,” according to Biden. “They chained our hands from behind and sold the country,” said Afghanistan’s acting defence minister, General Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, in a tweet. curse Ghani and his crew.”
Afghanistan’s halls of power are now occupied by the Taliban, regardless of what transpired last week. As a result of spending more than $2 trillion trying to defeat them, who are the Taliban, and what would their return to power imply for Afghans and their neighbours?
Although the Taliban aren’t a single entity, they are made up of a number of disparate factions with a variety of interests. Political office in Doha, influential clerics, and the numerous warlords operating on the ground comprise a “civilised” branch of politics. In Afghanistan, the future of the country depends on which Taliban factions prevail. As a result, identifying and supporting the more moderate Taliban leaders is vital.
There may be some good news here. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Taliban co-founder and political leader, is expected to become Afghanistan’s new leader, according to the latest information. The Taliban’s most prominent organisations have rallied around him and he has been able to negotiate effectively with international actors because of his pragmatic, experienced, and smart leadership style. Baradar arrived in Afghanistan on August 17.
In addition, Taliban officials have committed to construct a “inclusive Islamic government.” This administration will comprise non-Taliban Afghans as well as “well-known people,” according to a Taliban spokeswoman named Suhail Shaheen. Hamid Karzai, the former Afghan president, has set up a coordination group to oversee a peaceful transfer of power in Afghanistan. As part of that council, Abdullah Abdullah, head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, and former Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar are in Doha for talks.
Although this “inclusivity” would exclude many of the Taliban’s most radical elements, it raises concerns about possible collaboration with terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda or the Islamic State in the near future. Attempts to transform Afghanistan into a mono-ethnic (Pashtun) state, based on a winner-take-all mentality, would pose a greater threat. This would almost probably rekindle civil war in the United States of America.
The Taliban will also need to develop their army and police force, as well as create diplomatic contacts with the rest of the world, in addition to constructing an inclusive government. It’s conceivable that Russia and China will be among the group’s closest friends. “We are not worried about what is occurring in Afghanistan,” says Zamir Kabulov, a Russian presidential ambassador there. “We have good connections with the Taliban,” Kabulov says. “We should preserve the legitimate interests of our countries in Afghanistan,” Wang Yi urged his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in a recent phone chat.
In Afghanistan’s Central Asian neighbours, the Taliban may also find eager allies. Abdul Rashid Dostum and Atta Mohammad Noor, warlords of Afghanistan’s Uzbek and Tajik communities, fled the country when Mazar-i-Sharif fell. According to many observers, the Taliban had been rejected. In any case, I believe it’s an indication of a lack of desire to continue the struggle.
All of central Asia seems hesitant about the possibility of working with a Taliban-led Afghanistan. The Uzbek-initiated “Kabul Corridor” railway project from Termez, Uzbekistan to Peshawar, Pakistan, via Mazar-e-Sharif and Kabul, has been supported by Baradar, who has committed to “not allow the creation of a threat and danger from Afghanistan” to Central Asian nations. A “Greater Central Asia” with more open trade and enhanced infrastructure among the countries of the region could in fact become a reality now that America has left.
US and allied policy will also influence Afghanistan’s destiny. The humiliating defeat and disorganised withdrawal of the United States has seriously weakened its international prestige in the eyes of the world. How much responsibility will the United States take on to ensure the Afghan people’s well-being, if any, given its involvement in destabilising their country?