Giving a chance to Taliban
With an interim government in place in Afghanistan, the uncertainties past the US exit from there a fortnight ago are dissipating to an extent. The present dispensation headed by Mullah Akhund as Prime Minister is a stop-gap arrangement to manage the daily affairs. It is not “inclusive” of all interest groups as had been promised by the Taliban in its agreement that facilitated the US exit by August 31. While the US kept up the promise of exit, the Taliban is duty-bound to implement the promises it made to the US and the international community in relation to two principal clauses — namely the “inclusiveness” of the government and a commitment to neutralize the terrorist outfits.
The new dispensation must be given a chance to perform if only for the good of Afghanistan. Such a sentiment was reflected in a speech by Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar at the virtual meet held by the UN. He said not only the neighbours but the world community too should come to Afghanistan’s aid. He made a reference to the goodwill that India has earned among sections of the Afghanis in the past 20 years and the historic ties that the two nations maintained all along. The US at best was an occupation force and it did not have the locus standi to remain there indefinitely. Nor should Americans usurp others’ lands. Even in Iraq, they installed a native government and tried to promote democracy as they did in Afghanistan.
Be this as it may, Afghanistan is bound to pass through critical times in the months ahead. There is no money to even run the government. Worse, the various Taliban factions might work at cross-purposes. The Haqqani network acted in a crude manner in government formation with Pakistani patronage. There are misgivings about the fate of Mullah Baradar, the interim deputy PM, as rumours spread that he was killed in a fight at the presidential palace. The Taliban has denied it and released a voice message. Iran has objected to the Pakistani involvement in Afghanistan and sections of Afghanis have their own misgivings about the Pakistanis meddling there. How the dominant Haqqani clan in the Taliban will respond to the ISIS terrorist threat will be keenly watched by all. The scenario will remain fluid for some time and it will take so much more to settle things there and to arrive at some kind of stability. Under the circumstances, understandably, India’s responses are positive yet guarded in nature.