Afghan response to international aspirations
By: Er.Ishfaq Khaliq
The U.S Taliban war started back in 2001 when, according to America, Al-Qaeda operatives hijacked four commercial airplanes, crashing them into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. A fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Close to three thousand people died in the attacks. President George W. Bush, immediately after the attack, signed into law a joint resolution authorizing the use of force against those responsible for attacking the United States. This joint resolution was later cited by the Bush administration and other allied forces as legal rationale for a decision to take sweeping measures to combat terrorism. On December 9, 2001, is seen as the end of the end of the Taliban regime when the Taliban surrendered Afghanistan and its leader, Mullah Omar, flees the city, leaving it under tribal law administered by Pashtun leaders. Despite the official fall of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda leaders continued to hide in the mountains and went on with their attacks on the US and allied forces as well as the new Afghan regime keeping the war going on.
Hamid Karzai, chairman of Afghanistan’s interim administration since December 2001, was picked to head the country’s transitional government.
His selection came during an emergency Loyajirga assembled in Kabul which was attended by 1550 delegates (including about 200 women) from Afghanistan’s 364 districts. Karzai, the leader of the powerful Popalzai tribe of Durrani Pashtuns, returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan after the 9/11 attacks to organize Pashtun resistance against the Taliban. Some observers allege that Karzai tolerated corruption by members of his clan and his government. The Northern Alliance, dominated by ethnic Tajiks, failed in its effort to have a Prime Minister but succeeded in checking presidential powers by assigning major portfolios to the elected parliament including the power to veto senior official nominees and to impeach a president.
But electing Hamid Karzai as president and having an interim government didn’t solve the problem of Afghanistan and Americans were continuously engaged in the war resulting in a pressure built up on Afghanistan and the United States as well. While America was always ready for a fruitful dialogue with the Taliban groups but no successful dialogues were achieved. During a briefing with reporters in Kabul, the then Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, declares an end to ‘major combat’ coinciding with the announcement by President Bush which said that it was a ‘mission accomplished’ scenario and he further declared that it was an end to fighting in Iraq as well. Rumsfeld went on to inform the media that President Bush, U.S. Central Command Chief, Gen. Tommy Franks, and Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, ‘have concluded that we are at a point where we have moved from major combat activity to a period of stability and stabilization and reconstruction and activities.’ Now there were only eight thousand U.S. soldiers stationed in Afghanistan and it was predicted that the transition from combat to reconstruction and the hope of peace had arrived in Afghanistan.
Now that the Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan due to an agreement signed between the United States and the Taliban on February 29, 2020, that marks a milestone in America’s longest-ever war- the majority of U.S. troops were already expected to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2021. There have been several rounds of talks between Taliban leadership and the US as well as some other countries since then and if agreements are successfully implemented, sections of the Taliban could be expected to play a larger role in Afghan politics for a long time.
It is clear that the ball is in the court of Taliban and the world leaders are advising them to respect the various agreements keeping in view the devastation that the country has suffered due to a constant war that continues here ever since USSR attacked it. Taliban must realize that allowing children- both boys and girls to attend schools and guaranteeing women their rights is fundamental to the question of whether world countries recognize them or not. They should change the policy of their foreign affairs and many such allied activities and draw lessons from their past mistakes. They should behave like a mature leadership and ensure that everyone has the right to live in peace harmony and tranquillity.