The World and The Taliban

The situation in Afghanistan while being of concern to its neighbors to some extent should not really concern the USA, India and Russia which are not neighbors and have relatively no influence on the Taliban or Afghanistan in any real sense. The USA should not be so naive to think that all terrorism is directed or even controlled by Ossama Ben Laden. Anti USA forces exist in all parts of the world and even inside the USA. They only have the ability to continue to keep it unstable which is really a very cheap way to garner influence. As for US-Indian cooperation on

the matter there is little that they can accomplish. The CIS states too should make it clear to the taliban that they will not like or tolerate intrusion into their territories. However the CIS states should not contribute to increased destability in Afghanistan and use their influences on the northern commanders to end the fighting.

Winter has already arrived and that should bring a relative lull in thefighting or skirmishing between the taliban and the Northern commanders. However the taliban have got the better of the recent exchanges and the Northern commanders should realize that it is time that they reach a solution with the taliban otherwise a situation of total defeat might confront them if they continue to fight.

The Taliban are a fighting force, which after gaining control of Afghanistan are implementing a rough Islamic based system which is generally very successful in controlling the fragmented and trench fighting mentality that exists amongst the tribal natured Afghans. The Taliban are basically and intrinsically Afghan. The reports of Pakistanis and Arabs fighting alongside the students from Kandahar are greatly exaggerated. Most of the Arabs andPakistanis have drifted away after the Russians left. The Taliban rose from a religious school based in Kandahar to conquer most of Afghanistan. In most cases they got the cooperation of the local populace and even the fighters of opposing groups. They slowly and steadily brought peace to most of Afghanistan. The people preferred the Taliban after the warlords that fought Russia could not agree to a stable govt. The Taliban were therefore very welcome to the areas that they took over and brought peace to. The Taliban had one advantage to the other groups as they came from rural religious students and were therefore not influenced by the former aristocracy or the tribal chieftains. That gave them more influence with the ordinary Afghans.

It is in that context that the Taliban must be supported by the world. Their religious convictions and the system that they implement are an internal matter. At most, it concerns their own citizens.

Recently there have been signs that the world has decided to engage in Afghanistan and try to help solve some aspects of the conflict there without having to physically fight.

The world has to realize that no country can achieve stability with multiple controls on governments and systems. Attempt at foreign controls create even further instability. Obviously the fighting between the Taliban and the Northern commanders can be ended through negotiations. However that can be achieved only in the context of setting up one system of governments. The allowance of open conflicts between power groups have to be ended by creating one military and civilian structure. The cooperation in that context can only occur under the concept of one Afghanistan and one government.

The UN is moving in the right direction in trying to settle the conflict through talks. However, they too try to change the attitudes especially religious attitudes which has caused more problems than other aspects of the conflict. The USA too has recently talked to the Taliban on the topic of Ossama bin Laden and that could be welcome news to the Taliban. The USA too should learn to talk rather than browbeat.

Countries such as Iran and India should also stop trying to change the governments in Afghanistan because of their religion and sect. If such countries and also some in the CIS stop supporting a faction in the war than the conflict would have ended by now and some sort of cooperative governments system would have emerged which would have given representation to Afghanistan’s different areas

As far as Pakistan is concerned, they have a much closer relationship with the Taliban than they have had with any other government in Afghanistan. However many political groups here are frightened of the Taliban who can influence politics in Pakistan. While Pakistan prefers the Taliban in Afghanistan they hesitate and find it difficult to accept such a system in Pakistan. Many on the religious right would be happy if they could mount such a conquest in Pakistan but here there are many opposing forces for such a scenario including rival religious and political groups as well as the military and the beaurocracy.

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