BY: Mohammad Shekaib Alam1 and Ghulam Mohammad Qanet2
Afghanistan is one of very few countries in the world that has never been colonized by any power. Whichever power tried to do so by any justification had to flee safeguarding its own interests. This fact establishes the country has full potential to lead by itself. It does not require any power to assist her in who should rule and what system of governance it should adopt. As the US President, Joe Biden has finalized the date of withdrawing the remaining 2,500 to 3,500 US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021; precisely after the 19 years of its invasion due to the attacks of the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001. The US has sent about 100,000 troops to Afghanistan on different occasions in different leadership starting from George W. Bush, Barak Obama to Donald Trump, and withdrawn similarly.
The 2001 invasion resulted in toppling the Taliban rule in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and caused massive destruction in the country and thousands of deaths. According to the “US Central Command Combined Air Operations Center, the US air force dropped a record 7,423 bombs on Afghanistan – more than at any time in the last 10 years” that led to more than 100,000 Afghans’ death or heavily injured since 2009, Aljazeera reported. However, there is no data to show how many people have lost their lives from 2001 to 2009. Similarly, the US has also paid hefty costs for it as it is stated in Brown University’s Cost of War Project that more than 2,400 US troops have died and it caused almost USD 2.26 trillion expenditures. This is one of the apparent reasons and also the acknowledgment that the US cannot win in Afghanistan; the US has decided to leave it. Regardless of what is mentioned by the US President that al-Qaeda’s threat to attack the US has reduced since 2001 and also the US cannot afford to concentrate its military in one place as the points of attacks multiplied from Yemen, Syria, to Somalia, and other states.
The US decision of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan has raised some concerns including what is indicated by Mrs. Clinton that it will allow terrorist groups to carry out more activities. But it should be noted that the US is leaving the country with the condition that the Taliban will not allow any overseas terrorist groups to stay and operate in Afghanistan and if any such incidents take place, the US may resend its troops back. Apart from that, the US has also urged the Taliban and Afghanistan governments to agree on a ceasefire completely and both should discuss the future of Afghanistan; its socio-political and economic outlooks. To discuss the stated points both groups had gathered on 12 September 2020 in Doha, Qatar but it seems they could not reach any conclusion. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani stated on March 6, 2021, that his government will resume peace talks once again with the Taliban but so far it did not take place and it looks may it will be held in Istanbul, Turkey. Thus, the indicated concerns are still active and quite concerning to all who care for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. As of today, no one knows exactly what would be the outcome of the peace process.
The above Aljazeera graph evidently demonstrates that both sides; the Taliban and the government, both are strong and have potential control in Afghanistan. Therefore, excessive arguments for and stubbornness on any matter will damage the country. The people of Afghan have already suffered for 40 years and now they want peace and stability in the country. They want to experience war-free life and not the same as what they went through so far. As both sides belong to Afghanistan should be flexible and lenient to each other and should understand and address the concerns of every individual living in the country from men, women, children, elder, to different linguistic, cultural, and religious groups. May one side thinks to have a certain way of lifestyle in the country and that is fine but at present, they need to talk to people, convince them and make them adopt that lifestyle by themselves rather than forcing them on gun-point. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) neither forced anyone to accept Islam nor he was harsh to those who accepted Islam recently as he knew they did not internalize Islam yet and as they will realize it completely, they will not ask me to allow them to lie, to have wine, to fornicate excreta as many companions requested so. Similarly, in many subjects, Allah has adopted the gradual policy that is He did not make things abruptly lawful or unlawful. It will be overwhelming that the peace process may get attended by all representative individuals indicated above as well as civil societies, professors and professionals of each field to outline a comprehensive and progressive system that will guarantee a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
To do so, peace process attendees are required to follow the PEACE Principles that stand for Peace Restoration and Political Stability in the country. They must avoid any conflict that may damage this principle and this is more crucial when different groups will be discussing the peace process. Secondly, it needs to have Effective Educational Enhancement Plan for the country by establishing new schools and updating the existing structures, and be inclusive to each child from general to handicap. Thirdly, Attitudes Accommodation of different individuals living within the country and this principle meant to absorb and accepts different outlooks of lives as may some would be interested in liberal lifestyle while may some will prefer to adopt the more religious and conservative lifestyle. Fourthly, the Cultural Inclusion Policy of every group and will entail recognizing everyone’s language, culture and eating, clothing and food habits, and providing a peaceful environment to practice them freely. And finally, it needs to have an Economic Development Plan for the country. The plan should be comprehensive and well thought that transfers the country economically developed within a short period. The people and groups within Afghanistan need to take these points seriously to become a developed and most stable country and to play a greater role within the region.