Post-2014 Afghanistan: Past Memories Daunt Afghans
Presently, worries about post-2014 Afghanistan is widely common across the country. Most Afghan citizens are concerned that what will happen after the 2014 when the US-led NATO forces repatriation period is completed? Dose Afghanistan return to the dark days of civil war? What will the rival neighbors along with their puppets in Afghanistan do with the country? Are the Afghan security forces that much strong to guarantee the continuation of the state? These are mainly the questions which arise in the minds. In the following paragraphs, with a historical approach the main factors that cause worries are going to be addressed.
In 1979, Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet Union, a communist “cold war” rival to the west. Expansion of communism ideology and soviet access to the warm waters are mostly underlined as the main purpose of the invasion. Afghans couldn’t tolerate being occupied by a non-Muslim power. The idea of occupation motivated Afghans, people from all walks of lives joined to start jihad “holy war” against the invading army across the country. The west, particularly the United States along with some Muslim states escalated the battle; the “west” in coordination with regional intelligent service networks, provided different types of assistances to mujahedin “holy war fighters”. The assistances included; financial supports, logistics, provision of military equipments, paramilitary training and needful intelligence, technical and strategic advice. So the holy war expanded and lasted with tremendous costs and loss of lives as soviet strategists hadn’t taught it. Therefore in 1989 the red army left Afghanistan with installing a puppet communist regime in Kabul. It was the begging of a greater failure to the communism across the world. Not very long, due to lack of support from Soviet Union, the communist inclined establishment in Kabul was toppled by mujahedin with the west’s supports. It puts in the place a power vacuum.
The west secured its goal, “failure of communism” then forgot it. Now it was the time for mujahedin. For the first time, Mujahidin with Islamic ideology tended to control power. But they couldn’t. They lacked political vision. They lacked knowledge and experience in management of social and ethnic conflicts. They failed to compromise on some religious points and ethnic groups’ rights. Thus they failed to establish a government including all ethnics and religious sects. It turned the country into a destructive civil war. It affected the whole country on multiple aspects; almost, all economical infrastructures and political structures were destroyed. Agricultural products reduced. Many people spent day-to-day life with no work. All were thinking how to win rivals in the war. A Horrible number of citizens including women and children died. Many got injured. Many lost husbands and wives. And many lost parents. Millions left the homeland, got refuge abroad. There was nothing about education. It was as it is said, “human is the wolf of each others.” The dominant circumstance was quietly disappointing: nonsense was tangible everywhere. The status qua got absolutely unbearable. Uncertainty, mistrust, and insecurity were the dominant horror anywhere. At the time, where disappointment and failure of mujahedin were widely approved, another group “Taliban” apparently Islamic and tribal emerged. They called Islam and security.
The Taliban, an ethnic group with fundamental ideas, under the slogan “sharia and security” dominated the south. It secured control over Kabul in 1996. In the capital Kabul they faced tough resistance. The Taliban knew very less about politics. Most of Taliban members understood some very primary religious teachings about Islam. They strongly lacked experience in politics. They had their own political ideas and type of government. They had very strict views regarding human rights. Women were banned at home. Other ethnic groups were deprived of all basic rights. During this period all girl schools were closed. They applied some very tribal policies during their dominance over the country, about other ethnic groups. They repeatedly committed genocide particularly in the north, Bamiyan province and in Kabul. Hundreds of thousands fled Afghanistan abroad. It was a very choking period; imprisonment, execution, cutting body parts and scourging was usual everywhere by Taliban personnel.
Thus, the above circumstances belong to the past. We never wish to have them again. But they constitute every single Afghans’ historic memory during decades of uncertainty and disputes. These memories disturb every vigilant Afghan.
Now, more than a decade international military and civilian aid in Afghanistan seems to have failed in the struggle against the insurgency and also in effort for state building. Notorious corruption in Afghan government institutions is still a common thing; despite counter-corruption efforts by the Afghan government and its international allies, yet it isn’t reduced. It has resulted in hopelessness among citizens all over the country. The insurgency hasn’t been reduced yet. The threat from Taliban ethnic and fundamental group is not yet defused rather day by day it gets stronger. Still, security is an important issue across the country. The call for peace and negotiation is rejected repeatedly by the Taliban. It has created a widespread disappointment among ordinary people. Taliban men still persist on their severe ideas; they believe in their own type of governance and refuse human rights. They pursue their own sect on the basis of their own interpretation of Islamic teachings which are very strict views.
Economically, it is also disappointing; due to security reasons based on uncertainty regarding post-2014 Afghanistan situations, Some investors have already transferred their capitals to abroad. And some intend to transfer. International aid is gradually getting reduced. National investors seem reluctant to invest in private sectors. So the work market has already degraded. Therefore it looks that Unemployment is a common outcome.
Social cleavages during years of disputes are activated. In comparison with any other regional multinational countries, Afghanistan owns a very pluralistic population without common values and visions. So activation of religious issues and ethnic disputes in the absence of a just and good government are surely predictable, especially in links with abroad.
Coming to the point, In terms of economy, businesses are getting down. Jobs are going to be lost. Insurgency poses greater. The opium trade is the same as before, still it involves officials in the government. Social disputes in the absence of appropriate management look predictable. It seems that on the government part there are no tangible actions regarding the voices based on concerns from people except some speeches by officials. Watching these circumstances, memories come to one who is vigilant about the future. Therefore Concerns regarding matters of post 2014Afghanistan, seem to be real and justifiable. Worries are the natural and logical results of an evaluation of the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.
Mohammad Yasin Sultani is a writer of the Daily Afghanistan Express.