Reducing foreign aid or leaving the country is not an effective solution. Punishing the Afghan people will not result in a change of governance.
Afghanistan has suffered from a deadly combination of war, chronic poverty, and natural disasters for the last four decades. In light of this, the international community must not turn its back on Afghanistan as the humanitarian crisis is complex and reducing foreign aid or leaving the country is not an effective solution. Punishing Afghan people will not result in a change of governance. Hardline regimes can exist for years with political instability, scattered insecurity, and a shattered economy.
One of the biggest challenges to the future outlook of Afghanistan is the perpetual disunity among the opposition groups. Afghan leaders constantly put their parochial self-interests ahead of the national ones, divided over ethnic identity, power-oriented politics, war crime accusations, corruption allegations, and lacking a national agenda with the opposition groups. This signifies the inevitability of interaction with the Taliban as the only realistic approach to addressing the crisis in Afghanistan.
The Taliban must understand that they are governing the whole country now, including the urban areas and big cities in which people have experienced their bloody attacks and dislike their extreme policies. To govern and control these areas is the real challenge for Taliban leadership. They have wider responsibilities of getting internal and external legitimacy. They should meet people’s expectations of being treated with dignity and ensure that behaving them is perceived with respect, so that everyone feels dignified, regardless of gender, ethnicity, class, or beliefs, including political opinions. Though, disregarding their commitments, amnesties, the crackdown on media as well as the ban on female education and working, suggest that the Taliban have badly failed to succeed in achieving the required legitimacy.
Afghans and the world are lacking better alternatives and more options. The Taliban authorities need to understand that ignoring the ticking clock and taking the sanctions and global isolation unnoticed, Afghanistan will unfortunately suffer the most, and Afghans will lose the opportunities that will never be reimbursed.
Despite having some relatively positive aspects, it is obviously not clear that the Taliban leadership with the same inadequate vision, poor knowledge, and cramped experience regarding good governance characteristics would have the intention or the potentials to address the complicated issues of tackling national and international legitimacy, inclusiveness, human rights, economy, poverty alleviation, and the security concerns of the global community.
After the Taliban’s takeover, Afghanistan has entered an unpredictable new phase in the decades-long, unsuccessful efforts to achieve peace and stability. The Taliban’s takeover ended the war derived from their insurgency, but the country’s major factors of conflict remain unresolved. They deprived women of education and working, alienated the country’s largest foreign donors, committed human rights violations, and reportedly continue to harbor international terrorist groups.
Supporting an inclusive and sustainable peace in Afghanistan and avoiding provocative and unjustified decrees such as banning females from their legitimate right to educate and work remain shared priorities for the people of Afghanistan and the world community. To encourage Afghans to establish inclusive political structures that bring an end to more than four decades of hostile conflict, protect human rights, and improve access to basic services are the shared objectives of Afghans and the international community. Stability and development lead to declining the growth of extreme mentality and consequently help dementing the safe havens that terrorists can use to plan and organize attacks.
The people of Afghanistan believe the Taliban’s takeover was either an engineered catastrophe or the result of the faults in which they were disregarded and excluded from being a party to the Doha agreement. As a result, people felt deprived and marginalized, and the Taliban successfully portrayed themselves as less evil, less corrupt, and less harmful in the parts of the country under their control.
The world community must not turn their backs on Afghanistan. International interaction accompanied by adequate pressure is urgently needed to protect civilians and enable aid workers to safely reach all those in need. There is an instant need for relentlessly coordinated.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the Afghan Herald editorial stance.
The author focuses on social and political issues in Afghanistan and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.