The Nato led ISAF mission of Afghanistan is now going to be concluded. The flag of the international community united front against terrorism is going to fold and mission end by the ceremony observed inside Afghanistan and the speech of American president Barak Obama.
Nato had their 13 years longer mission in Afghanistan. And just years ago, they [Nato] started transitional process of security to the newly organized and a well polished Afghan Security Forces.
At the same time; came across a statement released by the Afghan Taliban Spokesman Zabehullah Mujahid. It’s interesting to see that Zabeh’s statement is more political than its older version of extreme religious tune only.
Mujahid states, “America, its invading allies, ISAF, NATO along with all international arrogant organizations have been handed a clear cut defeat in this lopsided war”. And at the same time he adds that they’ll keep fighting until the last invader [forces from Nato] remains on the Afghan soil.
“They [Nato, Isaf and America] have nothing left except empty talk on stages, lies and deceits to try and mislead their nations”.
From one angle seeing Afghan Taliban statement, shows hope, at a time when the international community will be leaving Afghanistan. Many viewers will disagree but I see a deeper insight in the statement. The spokesman is using the term “Afghan nation” instead of another harsher term.
The spokesman adds, “We are of the belief that our nation will continue strengthening the trenches of Jihad, the demoralized American built forces will constantly be dealt defeats just like their masters and independence shall be achieved and a way paved for the establishment of a pure Islamic system by expelling the remaining invading forces unconditionally”.
Even though, Afghanistan has not achieved the support and assistance it needed at the time when none group or stronger resistance force remained after October 2001 attacks against the Taliban regime. And it was a misfortune when the civil war and then Taliban crashed Afghan society was not considered in the form of its needs. Therefore no special development plans were chalked out. According to former finance minister that 80 to 85% funded budget went back to the accounts of coalition partner countries. On the other hand International Community in particular Americans blamed the Afghan government for its massive corruption. And the unfriendly relations between the ex-Afghan president Hamid Karzai with the United States government and allied forces lasted till the electioneering of newly elected president Ashraf Ghani and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah. One can understand the relations when Karzai lashed Americans and Pakistan in his farewell speech.
It’s politics and would go on. But we cannot neglect the development of Afghanistan in the previous 13 years. I still remember how I went through Kandahar and Helmand provinces of Afghanistan in Taliban era, 2000. Again visited these areas in 2005, 2006 and till 2014. The speed of rebuilding Afghanistan cannot be ignored. Afghanistan had none of its forces, offices, governance, political, judicial, security and development institutions. All of them are now running functionally followed by a young lot of Afghans pursuing their higher studies in different educational institutes. It is hoped they [young Afghan lot] will be running once they are in the field for practical activities.
Lets have a comparative view of Taliban era with current Afghanistan, a democratic nation.
Just one example in the form of freedom of expression, we remember the Shariath Ghag Radio Kabul in 1996 to 2001, cannot be compared with 25 TV and more than 100 FM radio stations across Afghanistan. The media monitoring organizations have put Afghanistan having more freedom for speech and views than its neighboring Pakistan.
The same is the situation of school going children in millions now, cannot be compared with the negligible or no school going children in the Taliban era. Women are part of the parliament and life running institutions. This on one could dream in Taliban era. Judiciary, I remember, how Taliban executed people open in the soccer stadiums but never exists in today’s Afghanistan.
The most interesting outcome of the last 13 years is a government elected with 8.1 million vote polls. That shows the commitment of Afghans to their sovereignty, integrity, freedom and development.
My observation is not the final point, we still need more to develop Afghanistan, minimize opium, corruption, gender discrimination, basic democracy, a more speedy and transparent judicial system, rule of law and governance.
It is true had Afghanistan not faced the militancy of Taliban in last 13 years, the country would have evolved a nation of its own not defending on International Community funds after a decade. And sustainable development would have taken roots.
It is well said in a proverb, that the will of people is the will of God. So, Afghans are never going back to Taliban era or their run regime. So, it won’t be possible to push the society back to the dark ages Afghanistan saw during its civil war and then Taliban era. By reading Afghan Taliban statement makes me hopeful that they will join Afghanistan democratic government after a successful reconciliation process as their brothers [religious political leaders Maulana Fazal Rehman, Siraj ul Haq, Maulana Sami ul Haq most of them part of Pakistani parliament] are doing in neighboring Pakistan. Because none of the foreign combatants [ISAF/Nato/US] remains in Afghanistan and it is never a war between infidel [the main attractive point for Taliban to join jihad] and Muslims on Afghan soil anymore.