The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the most ideal forum for bringing all South Asians together and working to prevent Afghanistan from descending into chaos and disorder. Collective action will be more effective in ensuring the commitment that Afghanistan will never allow its territory to attack others
The September 11 terrorist attacks on America came at a time when the United States enjoyed unlimited power. In October 2001, the United States launched military attacks in Afghanistan “to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a base for terrorist operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime.” Lasting freedom was the name given to this operation.
The 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks marked the end of the war on terrorism. US President Joe Biden said in a speech that it was up to “Afghan leaders to come together, to fight for themselves, to fight for their nation”. On September 7, the Taliban hoisted their flag above the presidential palace and unveiled their interim government: all men, no women, and overwhelmingly Pashtuns.
The Taliban will need to take swift, visible and credible action to convince the international community of their adherence to international obligations, including respect for the human rights of women and minorities.
International recognition will be important even for humanitarian supplies and assistance.
The Afghanistan experience shows no armed approach to nation building.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs that the use of force to “remake a country is beyond our means and our capabilities.”
Methods “to promote stability and human war” are needed.
Political scientist Minxin Pei identified the requirements for successful regime change which include a strong national identity, a high degree of ethnic homogeneity, and relative socio-economic equality. None of this existed in Afghanistan.
As the American president is preparing to convene a summit of leaders for democracy on December 9 and 10, to “galvanize commitments and initiatives around three main themes: the defense against authoritarianism, the fight against corruption and the promotion of respect for human rights â, America will have to show the power of example, as the president has repeated many times:â We will lead not only by the example of our power, but by the power from our example.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the United States should refrain from “creating more problems and offloading the burden on countries in the region.”
While it is not yet clear whether China will “step into the void” created by the US withdrawal, the Taliban have reportedly offered a red carpet to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BIS ).
China appears determined to continue cooperation with the Taliban.
The Taliban would need the goodwill, support and cooperation of the United States for peace, stabilization and reconstruction in Afghanistan. Their meeting with the director of the CIA and asking the United States to keep their embassy in Kabul give some signs of the evolution of the scenario. It’s no secret that the Taliban mostly survived in Pakistani shrines.
Reports indicate signs of Al Qaeda fighters returning to Afghanistan.
In view of the past, the West must not abandon Afghanistan as it did in 1989. The international community
community should work together to ensure that terrorist groups are not allowed to thrive on Afghan soil.
The return of the Taliban to Kabul is a wake-up call for the most geostrategically important region of South Asia.
Geopolitical trends put India and Pakistan in opposite directions.
Afghanistan’s location and rare mineral deposits
at the crossroads of Central, South and South-West Asia makes it geopolitically attractive for all powers. Afghanistan has been called a “graveyard of empires”.
The unity of South Asia in diversity is its strength. With obscurantist fundamentalists in Kabul, the rise of ultranationalism and elected authoritarianism in the region, traditional ethnic identities may make a comeback and fuel rivalries in various societies aggravated by repeated interstate wars and conflicts. . Afghanistan sinking into civil war is the worst-case scenario for its neighbors, the region and the world.
For India, the return of the Taliban is a strategic setback.
The takeover threatens to exacerbate Indo-Pakistani tensions.
The Economist writes: âIndia faces the prospect of a new generation of Muslim Kashmiris inspired by Taliban fanaticism.
Before the geopolitical situation becomes extremely dangerous with the possibility of engulfing the whole region, the countries of the region must unite to save South Asia.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the most ideal forum for bringing all South Asians together and working to prevent Afghanistan from descending into chaos and disorder.
Collective action will be more effective in securing the commitment that Afghanistan will never allow its territory to attack others.
It appears that the withdrawal from Afghanistan was a tactical shift to focus on broader objectives. A shift in geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific is clearly visible in the form of a new trilateral security partnership – AUK-US, between Australia, UK and US. This arrangement is to help Australia build a nuclear powered submarine. President Biden calls it “investing in our greatest source of strength – our alliances”, moving from “relentless war” to “relentless diplomacy”
âCovering a wide range of diplomatic and technological collaborations, from cybersecurity to artificial intelligence.
Washington welcomes the leaders of QUAD – Australia, India and Japan for the first time on September 24, seeking to strengthen cooperation, focusing on “the growing assertiveness of China, Afghanistan, climate change and the supply chain resilience “.
September 11 has shown that the source of threats to the international community in the 21st century does not come from powerful states, but from weak and vulnerable states. While Nepal sits strategically between two emerging world powers – China and India, which are at the center of global power shift, Nepal’s peace and stability is not only vital for its neighbors but for the world at its core. together.
Bhattarai is a former ambassador
A version of this article appears in the September 24, 2021 print of The Himalayan Times.