UN and OIC must help carve Afghanistan’s future, academic says

WITH the Aghan Government on the brink following the complete withdrawal of US troops later this month, an academic urged the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to intervene before a civil war erupts in the nation.

“The current Afghan administration, led by President Ashraf Ghani, is having trouble persuading his troops to fight the Taliban aggressively, despite the latter claiming control of more than 85% of the country’s territory.

“People who cooperated with the US and its allies, including their family members, are at risk of being killed by the Taliban as the troops leave Afghanistan later this month.

“The US is obligated to stabilise Afghanistan at all costs, because they cannot afford to repeat the mistakes made in Iraq.

“The Islamic State was formed as a result of the US handing over power to the Iraqi people before stabilising the country, resulting in the world having to deal with a strong radical movement until today,” HELP University Faculty of Business, Economics and Accounting and Institute Crime and Criminology senior lecturer R Paneir Selvam told FocusM.

Soon after taking office, US President Joe Biden announced that US will pull out its troops from Afghanistan, after being there for 20 years.

While his decision received praise from Americans, Afghani people started worrying about the return of Taliban, a radical Islamist movement which took over the country in the 1990s, before being toppled by the US forces in 2001.

Their fears came true after Taliban managed to take over swathes of territories from the country, with the Afghan forces being defeated without help from American troops.

Many Afghanis who worked for the US forces were found killed by Taliban fighters, together with their families.

Since then, Biden has announced a programme worth US$100 mil to deport the families of Afghani workers who helped US troops.

Paneir Selvam said the situation in Herat City itself has deteriorated in recent days, with Taliban forces gaining the upper hand.

“Inside Herat City, the Taliban have taken control of a crucial district, as well as the route that connects the provincial capital to the airport,” he added.

The China-Afghanistan connection

Paneir Selvam said that US’ action has caused a major upheaval in Afghanistan as apart from Taliban, other anti-Taliban movements including the Islamic State is also gaining strength in the nation.

“Afghanistan may face a civil war. Just recently, while Ghani and his top officials held outdoor prayers to mark the commencement of Eid al-Adha, at least three rockets hit near the Government palace.

“The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack,” he mentioned.

On that note, Paneir Selvam said that one must wonder on how the Taliban, despite not being in power for two decades, was able to obtain enough resources to challenge the Afghan Government.

“Who is providing them with funds and weapons? Where are they getting sensitive logistics and intelligence reports from?

“In the event Taliban does overthrow the current Government, will they be recognised by other world powers?

“Most importantly, what role is OIC going to play to ensure the rights of Afghani people will be protected at all times?” he asked.

Paneir Selvam added that one should not discount the role China will be playing in carving Afghanistan’s future, given the country is an integral part of the multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.

He said that senior Taliban leaders have meet high-ranking Chinese officials recently, including Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin to discuss geopolitical issues.

“The Taliban delegates, headed by its co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is also leading the group’s political commission.

“Wang Yi recognised the Taliban as a major military and political power in Afghanistan at that discussion. He also highlighted that the Taliban would play a key part in the country’s ‘peace, reconciliation, and reconstruction’ efforts.

“And the Chinese official stressed that it respects Afghanistan’s sovereignty and insisted on non-interference in country’s domestic issues,” Paneir Selvam noted. – Aug 1, 2021.

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