By SK Nag
The world’s attitude towards Afghanistan is yet to unfold, but it is gradually becoming clear to be approved soon. Does it signal a sense of creative destruction for the globe we are heading to due to sudden and unplanned withdrawal by the US? India and its subcontinent will have to undergo a turbulent political phase for some more time. This natural adaptation will be a time taking process. Taliban has to go through many political challenges that they have not envisaged before making it to the hot seat. Militancy and governance are two different sides of any political existence.
Will the Taliban resuscitate the land in the coming days? This question is rattling many of us. Countries across the globe are a bit sceptical and facing decision crises whether to accept or reject them as global political entities. Perhaps with their acceptance, the world will legitimize the terror outfit in the mainstream. Going forward, it will contest the international forum while speaking against terrorism. A country with a legacy of continuous battle within the country to protect from various political invasions is now facing a tough time coming out of the recent political destabilization resulting from the resurgence of Taliban power.
The current situation has overtly identified who is indeed the friend in need. All countries are shutting doors to Afghan refugees, but India. Taliban insurgency was never eradicated 100% like Srilanka eliminated LTTE. The planned execution of terror elimination is a full-time involvement of the CEO of the country. Part-time military implementation with hire and fire military mechanism never saw the light of the day. Afghanistan did not involve enough checks and balances in the process during the time the US protected them. The threat might control the situation on the ground for a shorter period: that the US understood. And before any predicament unfolded, they withdrew abruptly. The country which never thought twice to print money is removing its military deployment, contemplating a massive future exchequer crisis is quite ridiculous to believe. So on the ground, the situation might have been different if the world was not making it clear.
Afghanistan is a land-locked country with a lot of geographical inconveniences. However, the mineral-rich land could not ignore the monetizing opportunity that is limited due to poor technological advancement. Borrowing talents from the rest of the world is very critical as they do not enjoy the reputation of peace and harmony. The external technical skills they need to explore their trapped mineral resource are crucial and require heavy deployment from across the world, mainly India. But their geo-political situation never allowed them to have the correct number of human resources in the past.
Afghanistan in the 70s was far better than today; it has regressed over the years. It is still wrongly colonized by China and Pakistan, which they are failing to comprehend. The British gave up this land, having contemplated the difficulties in managing back then. Subsequently, it has gone through many political seizures due to the unmitigated greed of some particular section of the country. The general public could not organize a structured opposition against such a fraction that disturbed the country in a periodical manner. Therefore this country learned to live with guns and die with guns. History has evidenced the continuous existence of destabilizing elements with narrow political agendas and ends up killing the country’s sovereignty. The land which gave us ‘The Frontier Gandhi’ could not provide a peaceful passage of democracy even today.
Why has Afghanistan remained disturbed to date? The answer may be many, but the core issue is the opportunity for monetization. This land is known as the gateway to India. Many monarchies, including the famous Alexander, invaded it due to strategic importance. This Asian central roundabout has been well envisaged by China long back and promoted invisible control over this country. If we go back to history a little bit, this country was historically invaded by Alexander the Great, The Mauryas, Muslim Arabs, Mongols, British, Soviets, and finally in 2001 by the United States with NATO, but 20 years of the USA had gone in vain and remained unconquered. The USA inconclusively withdrew its force hastily and abruptly, resulting in endless inconvenience to the 31 million population. Many kingdoms rose to power on this soil, and the Hotak & the Durani dynasty laid the foundation of modernization and started political origin. Archaeological investigation has evidenced the existence of human civilization for 55000 years on this land. Therefore, the global political and business ecosystem cannot ignore this land. Despite many odds, this land is still vital to the whole world, which the Taliban has understood.
The formation of Govt will be a big challenge for them. The stakeholders of all contingent of different outfits responsible for this coup may not conclusively agree with the leadership to run this country. There will be distrust and greed, which will break and make their government structure in coming years. Therefore it will be an unstable situation for the countrymen as well as for the world. Business as usual will be disturbed, and alternate to this land is difficult to get. For the global economy after the pandemic to strengthen, Afghanistan has a role to play.
Establishing peace at this stage is a long way; if tried achieving over guns, more disturbance will evolve, resulting in a civil war. Democracy cannot be achieved without participation and tolerance from all constituents. Going forward, the Taliban leadership has to do away with their own traditional and historical baggage. It will have to don a new political attire that the whole countrymen and the globe will accept and respect.
(Author is Political & Economic Analyst and IIM(I) & NTU(SGP) Alumnus.The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at [email protected])