Kazan review of Afghanistan situation

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Kazan review of Afghanistan situation

Kazan review of Afghanistan situation

The fifth round of the ‘Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan’ was held on 29 September 2023. It carried out a comprehensive review of Afghanistan situation since the US troops’ withdrawal, completed about two years ago.

The forum emphasised that all terrorists’ safe havens in Afghanistan should be destroyed and human rights should be upheld.

Afghanistan’s problematic security landscape arising out of handiwork of numerous terrorist outfits, was viewed with utmost concern. Afghan government was urged to take effective measures to address this issue.

Kazan review of Afghanistan situation

It was articulated in the meeting that the international community was taking ineffective actions and that the ensuing complacency needed to end.

But no concrete proposals were put forwarded to the international community regarding ways and means to extend a helping hand to the Afghan government.

Also, no tangible plan of action was recommended to the international community for strengthening Afghanistan’s economy.

Read Also: Moscow format meeting begins addressing Afghanistan’s situation

As of now, Afghanistan stands abandoned by the international community, to let it rot. Numerous tangible obstacles have been fielded in the pathway of Afghanistan’s political and economic stability.

On top of the list is confiscation of Afghan government’s money deposited in the US treasury and banks.

Though stabilising the post US withdrawal Afghanistan is a shared responsibility of the international community; the onus, primarily, lies on the US and the UN.

Kazan review of Afghanistan situation

All-encompassing multilateral cooperation shall only be possible if the US-led Western coalition, whose actions over the course of 20 years or so, have led to the current crisis in Afghanistan, acknowledges and accepts its responsibility for post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghan government and society. 

The initial steps should be unfreezing of the Afghan national assets, the World over, and immediate lifting of sanctions of all shades.

Unless a cooperative enabling hand is extended to the Afghan government, nothing worthwhile is likely to accomplish.

During the conference, Afghan government was prompted to undertake a meaningful, constructive, and result-driven discussion with the representatives of different ethno-political groups with a view to speedily conclude a viable political process, and expeditiously establish a fair, inclusive, broad-based, accountable, and responsible government in the country. This demand and the flashing urgency wasn’t realistic.

Kazan review of Afghanistan situation

The Kabul government has already nominated individuals representing different Afghan ethnic groups. It will be expecting too much from a war winning side to pick up such representatives to the liking of former warlords who fought alongside the US occupation forces against Taliban.

This may only be possible, say, in distant future as and when the tempers cool down to a level permitting, at least, a functional working relationship amongst the rivals.

Forum took exception to Afghan government’s attempts at politicizing humanitarian assistance. Importance of continuing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan was reaffirmed by the forum, which was a good gesture.

Another welcome step by the conference was expression of interest for expanding international community’s engagement with the current Afghan authorities in the areas of culture, sports and education, this could go a long way in bringing Afghan people back to their regional moorings.

The forum noted, with deep concern, Afghanistan government’s colossal failure with regard to flow of terrorist bands to the adjoining countries and their committal of acts of terrorism in those countries with an uptick frequency and intensity. 

Kazan review of Afghanistan situation

Afghanistan was urged to take charge of the issue and produce tangible end results which should be reflected in the form of sharp reduction in the incidents of cross-border terrorism originating from Afghan soil.

It was also stressed that time had come to deconstruct, remove, and prevent the establishment of all types of terrorist organisations in Afghanistan, and choke the in-flow of logistics to such outfits.

Pakistan is suffering the most at the hands of these rogue elements, operating from Afghan soil.

Due to reorganization of TTP, IS, and Al Qaeda remnants in Afghanistan, terrorism the southern regions of Afghanistan and north-western region of Pakistan has increased phenomenally.

Afghan terrorist entities have established strong cross-border links with their Pakistani counterparts. There is hardly a terrorist incident free day in Pakistan.

The joint statement commended the Afghan government for its stern resistance against Daesh, and it was advised to tackle all other terrorist entities in a similar way.

The issue of defanging terrorist entities in Afghanistan needs deft handling at regional level.

All six immediate neighbours of Afghanistan need to put their act together with regard to effective border management with Afghanistan to choke the logistics of these undesired terrorist militias.

Kazan review of Afghanistan situation

Certainly, the Afghan government has a responsibility to discharge.  Having transitioned from a war fighting militia to the level of political masters of Afghanistan, the Taliban run Afghan government has a set of obligations towards the international community.

Afghan government needs to step up cooperation with its neighbours in its fight against terrorism and drug-trafficking.

It ought to provide necessary conditions to enhance the wellbeing of the Afghan people, avoid their further emigration and offer circumstances for voluntary homecoming of its refugees; it also needs to reassess the tenability of regressive limitations placed on women employment and girls’ education.

Air Commodore Khalid Iqbal (Retd) is Director National Security at Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies (CASS), Lahore Pakistan. He may be reached at [email protected]