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Taliban --- Challenge to the Hegemony


by Ali Sukhanver





A school going Afghan
boy would simply remain silent rather dumb if someone asks him what he is going
to be when he grows up. The reason behind this silence and dumbness would be
nothing but fear of uncertainty. More war, more injuries, more casualties; what
is the future of the war-torn country Afghanistan; certainly there must be an
answer to this painful question. Decades have passed but the situation in
Afghanistan is still the same.





The people of
Afghanistan are leading a life full of uncertainty, insecurity and anxiety.
What did the US planners get out of the war in Afghanistan? Did they succeed in
winning the hearts of the Afghan people or they succeeded in conquering the
Afghan lands; surely they did nothing but wasted a lot of time and a lot of money.
The Taliban were the basic target of the US and NATO forces from the day one
but the US planners badly failed in ‘crushing’ the Taliban; they even could not
make Taliban unpopular in spite of a very well organized media campaign against
them. The Taliban are still there, playing a very active role in Afghan
politics. Time is strengthening them day by day; their strengthening means
defeat of all the forces hostile to them.





We see today US is left
with only one option; to bring Taliban to the negotiation-table. A few weeks
back General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said talking
about the Taliban at a security forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, “They are not
losing right now; I think that is fair to say.”  He further said, “While there is no military
solution to peace in Afghanistan, Washington and its allies in the NATO
military alliance are trying to use all their military, political and economic
potentials in a bid to convince the Taliban to come to the negotiation table. The
key to success is to combine all the pressure to incentivize the Taliban to
negotiate.” It is a very strange contradiction that on one hand Gen. Dunford is
claiming that Washington has no military solution to the Afghan problem but on
the other hand U.S. President Donald Trump is in favour of designing a strategy
for a long-running war which focuses on bringing more troops and use them to
force a political resolution to militant groups. Under this new strategy
President Trump last year, announced an increase in U.S. troop levels, bringing
the total number of foreign foot soldiers in the country to about 14,000.





 Efforts for peace-talks and adding more troops
to an already war-torn territory; these two actions are going opposite to each
other. President Trump must try to convince himself that war is never a
solution to conflicting issues. War gives birth to new conflicts. Moreover, at
present it is out of question to pressurize the Taliban by sending more troops
to Afghanistan because with the passage of time the Taliban have become expert
in tackling with the foreign troops. They are now the ‘experienced-targets’.
The most feasible way to resolve the Afghanistan issue is to concentrate only
on the peace-talks with the Taliban; threatening them with more troops would simply
distort the situation.





Recently a report was
published on the pages of the Albawaba News with the title ‘U.S Officials Admit
Taliban Are Not Losing in Afghanistan. The report said, “The Taliban are
gaining strength as the Afghan government in Kabul struggles to keep ground. The
U.S. government's overseer for the military push in Afghanistan warned in a
report earlier this month that the Taliban had cemented their position by
taking control over larger chunks of the country while the Afghan government
had seen its control shrink to about 56 percent of the land -- down from 72
percent in 2015.”





Contradiction in US’
approach towards the settlement of the Afghan issue is simply adding to the
gravity of problem. On one hand the Trump Administration is seeking Pakistan’s
help in bringing the Taliban to the negotiation table and on the other hand
Pakistan is being continuously blamed for ‘patronizing’ the Taliban. In a recent
interview with the ‘Atlantic’ Washington’s envoy to UN, Nikki Haley has
repeated allegations against Pakistan. She is the first Indian-American ever
appointed to a Cabinet position in any US presidential administration. She said,
“The US did not need to give money to countries that wish harm to America, go
behind its back and try and stop us from doing things.” She further said, “The
one example I’ll give you is, look at Pakistan. Giving them over a billion
dollars, and they continue to harbour terrorists that turn around and kill our
soldiers —that’s never okay. We shouldn’t even give them a dollar until they
correct it. Use the billion dollars. That’s not a small amount of change.”
Could someone ask Nikki Haley if she has given this statement as Washington’s
envoy or as an Indian-American?


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