According to the international media, “The fall of Afghanistan on 15 August 2021 happened quicker than it was expected. The passport and visa agencies got overwhelmed when the Taliban took over all the main cities of Afghanistan one by one”. However, should I rather say that the US served Afghanistan to the Taliban, on a silver platter.
My question is, why was it expected anyways that Afghanistan will not fall under the Taliban rule once again? The Taliban is known to develop different sources of income such as foreign donations, drug trade, illegal taxations and let us not forget mines and minerals. According to BBC reports, in 2018, the Taliban earned around $1.5 bn a year. The report also includes information on financial aids provided to Taliban by Pakistan, Iran, Russia that also includes private citizens from Pakistan and several Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar – although these practices are constantly denied.
The Taliban is now controlling a country that is the world’s largest producer of opium with an estimated annual export value of $1.5bn – $3bn and a mining industry with an annual worth of $1bn. And let us not forget the millions of dollars’ worth of machinery and explosives left by the US Army in the hands of Taliban.
Mr Joe Biden mentioned: “The Afghanistan political leader gave up and fled the country”. I don’t oppose the statement; however, this didn’t happen overnight. The translucent Doha agreement, allowing terrorist organisations to have a place at the table, enabling terrorists to have a voice and rights to negotiate was the biggest mistake made by the US government.
During the last 20 years of conflict 50,000 Afghan civilians have died. US lost 2,325 service members in Afghanistan, and more than 20,000 were wounded. Afghanistan lost over 66,000 members of its army. It’s said that the US has spent 2.26 trillion Dollars on the war in Afghanistan with around 130,0000 NATO members being deployed in Afghanistan. Although the real active numbers differ but on paper the Afghan national defence and security forces had 300,000 troops. All of this for what? To exchange the old Taliban regime with a new Taliban regime.
All this money and resources that Afghanistan was aided with were taken by the corrupt politicians in Afghanistan. Didn’t US keep a track on how their money and resources were spent? And how is this humanly possible that Taliban single headedly could take over so much power and resources?
The NATO, US and the corrupt Afghan government basically waited for the Taliban to systematically take over all the smaller provinces and gain traction. While some people called this as blitzkrieg, and that’s what it looked like at first but the reality is that the Taliban commanders were calling up people around the country and making their strategies right in front of the troops.
I do understand that due to variety of ethnic differences and geological complexities, Afghanistan requires a centralized government however that doesn’t mean that other regions are less important and should be ignored. This to my understanding is one of the weaknesses that Taliban used in their favour to control the poor and less educated people in the rural areas.
For Afghans it’s clear that the Taliban, Al-Qaida, IS and the Haqqani groups fall under the same hierarchy with the same agenda of spreading terrorism, building a false image of Islam, destroying, using the Afghan soil for their dirty agenda, killing innocent Afghan people and most importantly putting all the restrictions upon Afghan women. The Afghans are equally disappointed not only with the US, which facilitated and empowered Taliban in the first place, but also with its neighbouring countries such as Pakistan who helped the US in the process and gave refuge to the extremist groups throughout these years.
According to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, “People of Afghanistan were living under the mental slavery of western countries and with the Taliban taking over Afghanistan, Afghans have broken the chains of mental slavery”. Pakistani PM Imran Khan has constantly praised the Taliban, a terrorist organization, leaving Afghans and people around the world pondering about his ideology and inappropriate support to the terrorists.
During 1996 when Taliban seized power, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE were amongst the first to recognize them and now in 2021 yet again these very few countries such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Russia and China are amongst the first to recognize the Taliban regime. We claim to live in a democratic and modern world, but we also live in a world full of hypocrisy; where the forceful and unlawful Talibani takeover in Afghanistan is getting normalized. A country is always made by its people and the people of Afghanistan were always against terrorism and terrorists.
The US war had to come to an end sooner or later but the way US decided to withdraw was a joke and has raised many questions. The tens and thousands of the Afghans who helped the coalition forces, desperately sought refuge from the retribution of the Taliban to save themselves and their families’ lives. Why haven’t the US evacuated these civilians before the withdrawal of the troops? They could have saved the chaos and hundreds of fatalities in the process.
Afghans who have suffered under the Taliban regime between 1996 and 2001 will not take Taliban’s offer of amnesty, the promises to work with people, and that the Afghans will be safe under Taliban rule, seriously.
Today the people of Afghanistan feel abandonment and betrayal by the international community, especially the US. They left the Afghan Baghram airfield in the middle of the night, without notifying the Afghan officials on July 5, 2021. The US knew exactly that the Afghan National forces are completely dependent on US air support, medical support and most importantly logistics like food and wages.
Mr Ashraf Ghani left his people in the hands of Taliban with reports that he robbed his own country and its people who voted and believed in him by stealing $169M in cash. When foreign soldiers and members get killed, they are called as heroes, but what about the millions of Afghans who have been killed over the last 40 years? What about the innocent children of Afghanistan who lost their lives, their parents and those who are still alive but are deprived of the basic human rights and are constant targets of on-going terrorism and poverty? What about the loss of the Afghan family members? What about the innocent women of Afghanistan whose only mistake is that they are born in Afghanistan? Who must be held accountable for this?
Although the Taliban never accepted this, but they are targeting ethnic groups in Afghanistan, killing minorities such as Shias and Hazaras, creating hatred and fear among the local Afghans, destroying yet another generation of Afghanistan and depriving Afghan women of their basic rights such as getting higher education and working in their fields. The women are asked to stay home and are not allowed to dress as they desire or leave their houses without a male escort and even being forbidden from wearing colourful clothes and high heels, as these according to Taliban are ways to seduce men!
The recent attacks and killings in the Afghan mosques and even the attack on 26 August in the Kabul Airport where 13 US soldiers and hundreds of Afghans died are claimed to be the work of IS. The recent news cast portray Taliban as Afghan saviours, and IS as the new terrorists on Afghan soil is gives a feeling that the international community is making sure to paint a good image of Taliban and to recognize them as an active regime in Afghanistan.
While people like me are constantly raising their voices for the innocent people of Afghanistan and speak on their behalf, requesting for sanctions against terrorist organisations and countries that support terrorism such as the ISI of Pakistan; on the contrary, the US had already given recognition to Taliban and their terrorist activities, the day they signed the Doha agreement with them.
The US giving acknowledgement to the existence of Taliban and giving them a spot at the negotiating table is an act of recognition. It’s just a matter of time when US and others will start trading with their own creation and declared terrorist groups.
Up until now Taliban has failed to give details on the Sharia laws they believe and follow. Their false interpretation of Sharia law is nothing more than their proof of being analphabetic. Taliban have changed strategically in using modern technology, social media, using Western languages, trying to seem more diplomatic, using news channels to convey their propagandas, trying to seem more legitimate and wanting to be recognized by the international community, but they are as cruel as they were ever before.
In addition, because of all these modern resources they have become even more dangerous. The women of Afghanistan are in a precarious position as some might hope that today’s Taliban might be more liberal, but the reality is that most are aware that the Taliban have not changed at all.
The terrorist organisations are practicing targeted killings. Almost half a million Afghans were displaced in 2021 alone. The world food program estimates that 14 million people in Afghanistan are at risk of starving without food assistance and UNICEF has reported that the COVID vaccinations in Afghanistan have dropped by 80% in recent weeks.
On 14 July 2021 an article published by Gatestone institute mentioned; “Afghan withdrawal opens the way for China” – China shares a 47-mile-long border with Afghanistan which makes it a perfect source of trading for China which in turn will benefit Pakistan. No doubt that Imran khan, once called “Taliban Khan”, not only recognizes but also wants to play an ally between China and Taliban.
Many might think that this is an Afghanistan crisis, but it’s an international one with the terrorist organisation getting recognized by the countries thus giving terrorists a land to practice their evil. Afghans have lost a lot and it is a matter of fact that no one cares how many Afghans die or how many Afghans lose their homes or Homeland to terrorists. But this is not over!
The new era of terrorism has just begun and this time it will be more democratic. With China planning to extend to Central Asia and making their presence stronger – the Afghans who are left behind will be used as Chinese and Pakistani slaves.
And the question is who sold Afghanistan to the Taliban and others in the picture? Is it Mr Donald Trump or the current US President, Mr Joe Biden? In any case the only country that will suffer the consequences will be Afghanistan along with its people and those who will oppose this regime. The future is yet to come – but those who are naive must know, that it’s a war of power and money at the cost of Afghan blood, and the worse is yet to come.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of Chanakya Forum. All information provided in this article including timeliness, completeness, accuracy, suitability or validity of information referenced therein, is the sole responsibility of the author. www.chanakyaforum.com does not assume any responsibility for the same.
We work round the clock to bring you the finest articles and updates from around the world. There is a team that works tirelessly to ensure that you have a seamless reading experience. But all this costs money. Please support us so that we keep doing what we do best. Happy ReadingSupport Us