By Agha Iqrar Haroon
Taliban are camping 30 miles south of capital Kabul with no hurry to invade the seat of Ashraf Ghani in the presidential Palace.
According to intelligence reports, the Taliban were not shy to share their strategy with neighboring countries when they were meeting Iranians, Chinese, Russians, and officials of central Asian states that they would first establish their rule in all bordering regions, cutting Afghanistan from the rest of the world then they would encircle provincial headquarters and would win them. Attacking or capturing Kabul is not their priority.
The world has seen that the Taliban followed their strategy successfully and after the fall of Kandahar Province, they have pitched themselves in the outskirts of Kabul. Why are they not in a hurry to attack Kabul?, a possible answer is they want the Kabul government to surrender or accept the Taliban’s demands at the negotiation table in Doha.
Avoiding attacks on Kabul is an incentive the Taliban are offering to President Ashraf Ghani. They understand Ashraf Ghani will not surrender rather will run away and will install his government in exile somewhere in the world. India is the first option for installing the Kabul government in exile as former President Najeebullah tried to do after sending his family to Delhi. Afghans and Afghanistan are perfect performers of “Art of Possibilities”.
CNN reports US President Biden has ordered to destroy every important document in Kabul Embassy, roll all US flags and crush all US Armed Force badges to avoid their “disgracing”. Is the game over? Nay— game continues because this is Afghanistan —- A land of All Possibilities.
The next phase of the reemergence of the Taliban is their moral and psychological influence over neighboring countries. According to some foreign Think Tanks, the Taliban have an understanding with Iran and China to safeguard their social interests but no such commitment has come on the surface with Tajikistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.
There is no doubt Taliban have promised neighboring countries that Afghan land would not be used against any country and I believe the Taliban would honor their worlds but the psychological impact of their gains would definitely encourage populations of neighboring countries to try the Taliban kind of model of governance in their own countries.
We remember in 1997-2001, barbershops were denied to cut beards in several areas of Pakistan and I did a report in Bannu and Attock where barbershops refused to clean beards because the clean-shaven face is against Shariah Law. The issue was not shaving or not shaving rather it was psychological and ideological advances of so-called Talibanisation.
Populations of neighboring countries now see that the entire world and their regular armies failed to withstand the power of Jihad in Afghanistan and the quest of installing an Islamic Emirate defeated all NATO countries under the umbrella of ISAF.
I believe the Taliban will not try to impose their Sharia Laws in neighboring countries but their supporters can try to establish such laws in their own countries. Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan had gone to such kinds of phases in past.
We can say that reemergence of the Taliban is linked with the narrative of “no foreign boots on Afghan soil” and we can promote this diction but this is not the only reason for the reemergence of the Taliban and we understand it well.
Societies of all neighboring countries will go through shocks of new realities of Afghanistan later or sooner and all countries should be ready to deal with this reality. Should we not understand that the success of the Taliban is not linked only with “no foreign boots on Afghan soil” rather establishing an Islamic State and this point was the core issue in Doha Talks. Taliban are not ready to accept any man-made laws in Afghanistan after the departure of foreign boots.
If foreign boots were the only reason, then Doha Talks should have been successful months ago because the Kabul government and Taliban had the main differences on the new Constitution and all other issues were resolved. Taliban were and are not ready to accept any man-made social system and their demand was and (is) to run the country under Shariah Law. Therefore, we must not forget that the reemergence of the Taliban is not linked with “no foreign boots on Afghan soil” rather it is due to war to install Islamic Laws on a land virtually taken away from the entire world by the Taliban with their blood and with the power of Jihad.
The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.