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Present Scenario of Afghanistan

After fighting a fratricidal war for 23 years, which was encouraged and financed by foreign powers, loosing more than one million lives and forcing about five millions finally signed a historic agreement in Bonn to share power in a broad-based government. Its implementation has already been started and it would and the long, dark and agonizing right or confect in Afghanistan.

These interim arrangements are intended as a first step towards the establishment of a broad- based, gender- sensitive, multi-ethnic and fully representative government. The Bonn agreement stands out as a unique political event in the recent history of this agedly- stricken country. The composition of the legates, their wider ethnic and political presentation, the influence of the great wars, consent of the peace settlement for a better chance of success than many of the earlier efforts and compacts that shattered on the hard rock of mistrust among the Afghans.

The regional and political context within which the Bonn parleys have taken place is quit compelling. The Taliban, their distorted vision of an Islamic polity and their unilateral political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan stands discredited. Their defeat and destruction is as tragic as their emergence on the Afghan political scene nearly seven years ago. Afghan and international perception about them changed quickly from a stabilizing force committal perception about them changed quickly from a stabilizing force committed to restoring peace and reunifying the country to an orthodox, rigid, uncompromising religious hierarchy under the firm rule of one man, Mullah Muhammad Omer. The Mullah and his supporters were fixated at territorial conquest as the mean to popular and international legitimacy, hoping that the world and the afghan would accept the reality on the ground.

In this assessment, they had little knowledge of world affairs, the structure of international power and the conditioning factors within which all the states, small or large have to operate. For their atrocious act, unconventional polices and archaic behavior, the Taliban took too much refuge under the misconceived notion of sovereignty .perhaps the world might have tolerated their domestic policy agenda had they not allowed their country to become the hub of transnational Islamic resistance movements. Their strong ideological outlook pushed realism and pragmatism to margins. It is indeed tragic and heart wrenching to see the young Taliban massacred, bombed to ashes orend their lives in combat. These dedicated followers have paid too heavy price for indoctrination, false hopes, rhetoric and misconceptions of their madrassa teachers, spiritual guides and commanders.

This tragic episode of the Afghan history is moving fast out of sight, but will never move out of its pages, with the departure of Taliban, the Afghan have got new opportunity to rebuild their country and their lives. The Bonn agreement has raised hopes that the Afghan leaders would now stand up to the occasion and steer their country out of chaos and towards a better tomorrow.

‘The genesis of the situation that, after the soviet pullout, the entire country was ruled over by mujahedeen commanders whose militias controlled areas where the had established bases against soviet invaders. They did not take long to shift their role from warlords to local rulers. Afghans, who were so far fighting a common enemy, did not know how to return to a civilian setup. Almost all of them asserted their authority independent of each other within areas of their influence. These militias who were armed to teeth, had operated independently. These militias who were armed to teeth, had operated independently in the last decade, found it difficult to accept any central authority. The old saying ‘might is right’ became the constitution of Afghanistan.

The Afghan nation, proud of its independence for which it had sacrificed over one million citizens, was hoping that after the soviet withdrawal, a phase of reconstruction would start and a civil society of rebuilding the nation, their hops were bruised by a multitude of factors, foremost among them was infighting among the Afghan leaders. Their leaders betrayed their trust and remained committed to their self-centered objectives. Their total indifference towards the nation led people to discard them one after another. Rape, road blockades, banditry and all such crimes, which were detested by common Afghan national, were detested by common Afghan national, were order of the day. Political disorder accentuated by the Afghan leaders brought nothing but miseries for the common man.

Afghans were desperately looking for someone to save them from savagery of different ethnic groups. It was in this gloomy and savagery of different ethnic groups. It was in this gloomy and deplorable condition that a force known as “Taliban’ appeared on the scene. The ‘Taliban phenomenon’ was a reaction to the state of anarchy in Afghanistan. It was neither the ideology nor the religious belief of the people that helped the emergence of Taliban. It was the war weariness of the people which stood ready to welcome the force that promised the disarming of the local fighters, the restoration of peace and the semblance of an honest administration, no matter how rough its system of justice is.

Taliban were living in Afghan mosques and madrasas for centuries and also in religious madrasas of Pakistan after soviet invasion. They drew their strength from all ethnic groups of Afghanistan, though their complexion is predominantly of Pakistan origin. Their contribution in war against soviets is well appreciated by their friends and foes alike.

Following the end of Najib regime, after actively participating in the ‘jihad’ against the soviets, Mullah Muhammad Omer returned to his religious role in a local madrassa. But the chaos and lawlessness perpetuated by local commanders, bandits and drug dealers disgusted him and the entire Afghan nation. In July 1994, a brutal highway robbery and an assault on women starred the patience of Mullah Omer. He gathered a force, bandits and drug dealers disgusted him and the entire Afghan nation. In July 1994, a brutal highway robbery and an assault on women starred the patience of Mullah Omer, He gathered a force, defeated and dispensed summary, justice to the miscreants. The effect of this action was electrifying to public opinion and other local commanders that they rallied behind the Taliban. Pakistan sent a convoy of trucks to central Asia, but it was halted by another bandit Mullah Rackety. The Taliban slipped in to keep the road clear and open. These two incidents provided immediate reasons for rise of Taliban. There are theories generally propounded by Afghan analysts regarding rise of Taliban: the Islamic theory and the US theory.

According to the Islamic theory, Mullah Omar was a pious, idealistic and focused personality. The situation prevalent in the entire Afghanistan deteriorated to the extent that raised a question in minds of the people, whether they had defeated the soviet for that kind of life? This theory propagates that the declared objectives of the ‘Taliban movement’ were to clean Afghanistan from menace of weapons, lawlessness and social repression and to enact ‘Sharia Law”

The other group of intellectuals believes that the Us theory is more credible. They feel that the American wanted to fill in the gap of leadership created with the hanging of Dr. Najibullah. The US wanted to use the Taliban as a tool for realizing their own objectives. The US officials had high aspiration for them. They hoped that the Taliban would serve the US purpose in Afghanistan. But Taliban proved markedly less sensitive to US political interests than some in Washington had hoped which caused the immediate change of US political interests than some in Washington had hoped which caused the immediate change of us policy towards Taliban.

Religious extremism isolated the Taliban leadership even from the Muslim world. Taliban leadership even from the Muslim world. The presence of military training camps in Taliban controlled areas, from where militants were allegedly being sent out to support Islamic freedom movements, was becoming a serious cause of concern to Afghanistan’ neighbors. Taliban were reportedly exporting the religious zeal into central Asia and China in support of the Islamic movements in those countries.

The presence of Osama Bin Laden and his AL-Qaeda network did them more harm than good. Osama did provide funds to fuel the conflict against the Northern Alliance but his intention of removing Americans from Muslim lands and bringing down the Saudi Royalty was his undoing. According to the US intelligence agencies, some of the Islamists who tried to blow up the world Trade Centre in 1996 had been trained on Afghan soil .After the attack on Us embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the US worst fear came true as they proved Osama’s involvement in these terrorist attacks. They fired missiles on Afghanistan as a coercive measure to pressurize Taliban to extradite Osama Bin Laden. But the Taliban refused to accede to the American demand. In this regard Taliban lost the support of various countries too, which recognized their regime as they were not prepared to listen their advice nor did they bother to take care of their concerns.

The US administration made it a point of national prestige to get protecting those who seed sanctuary with them, the us got the security council to pass a resolution in late 1999, imposing stringent sanctions that have added to the hardships of Afghan people. The draught, which has affected much of south Asia as well as Afghanistan, added further to their sufferings, so that poverty and deprivation touched new lows in Afghanistan.

They came the day of September 11,2001, the black day in American history, when in various terrorist attacks thousands of innocent Americans were victimized. These terrorist attacks created a state of uncertainty and terrible feelings in the minds of billions of people. The innocent people suffered misery and repression due to these inhuman acts of terrorism. This brutal and blatant terrorism against innocent man, women and children has few parallels in the annals of history.

The American called these attack as an act of war and declared “war against terrorism.” The world changed overnight, every nation joined hands to root out international terrorism from the world. The US which was already blaming Osama’s Al-Qaeda network for the bombing of RS embassies got an excuse to declare war on Afghanistan as the Taliban were giving shelter to their prime suspect. This situation put Pakistan in tight corner, Americans taking advantage of the international mood against terrorism asked Pakistan to share the “ war against terrorism” and Pakistan had to adopt the role of front line stat due to its specific geo-political location, Kashmir dispute, nuclear issue and its hostile relations with India.

Mullah Omer was advised by Pakistan to send Osama OUT or they would have to face the full might to the US. He preferred to fight it out rather to hand over a guest. The Taliban faced the high technology US aggression valiantly for two months but finally they had to surrender. The war also has put the Afghanistan into the lap of another traditional Afghan civil war.

The historical background of the Afghan issue is that the people of Afghanistan have a long history of suffering and oppression, the worst chapter of which was written by Alexander the great when he conquered this country in 328 BC. Later on it remained under the rule of different powers like; the Ghazanvids, the Ghoris, the Khawrizms the Mongols and the bruisers, Russians were the last invaders in 1979. It is a historical fact that exuberant Afghani people have made the Afghan territory a graveyard for all the invaders. Every invasion met very hard resistance from brave Afghanis. The British rulers in India learnt the hard way that Afghanistan was not an easy meat to digest at will. They erstwhile Soviet Union refused to benefit from the British stumble into Afghanistan and paid a heavy price for its misadventure in 1979. Never before in the history of warfare a military pigmy had mauled a combat giant so comprehensively as the sharp shooters of Afghanistan did so to the warlords of soviet Union. During all these invasions the brave Afghanis were injured, mutilated and killed, their women raped, and their children robbed of hope for a better future. All such circumstances shattered their economy, pollarded the society and festered a culture of violence in Afghanistan.

Actually Afghanistan enjoys an important geopolitical position in Asia. It is an ancient land which served as a trade route in central Asia. Since antiquity it provided invasion routes to the sub-continent. That’s why Russia exploited the same geo-political location of Afghanistan to reach warm waters of the Persian gulf.

A lot of efforts have been made by the concerned countries to end the woes of Afghani people including third parties mediation.

As soon after Russian invasion the United Nations Organization along with the big powers and the Muslim community started efforts for the sovereignty of Afghanistan and restoration of peace and stability. Pakistan, during the entire Soviet invasion played a vital role to solve the issue. It not only provided food and shelter to the Afghan refugees but also adapted a hard line attitude and role of frontline state towards Soviet Union. Geneva accord which resulted in the complete withdrawal of the soviet union from Afghanistan came into existence with tireless efforts of Pakistan along with U.N.O. This accord was concluded between Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1988.

After soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan Kabul was left in the hands of the pro-communist General Najibullah Mujahedeen groups formed an Afghan interim government with the aim of toppling the Kabul regime which survived till 1990. After the fall of Najib the Mujahedeen factions signed an agreement in 1992 with the mediation of Pakistan known as Peshawar accord to share power. Unfortunately the accord could not be implemented due to tussle among some Mujahedeen groups. Under these circumstance in 1993 Pakistan arranged for the Islamabad accord among the important factions of Mujahedeen to reach an agreed formula of power sharing. But the same, too failed to build the Afghan faction into a civil war which claimed Osama Bin Laden from the Taliban government considering him the prime suspect. Taliban government refused to hindering him the prime suspect. Taliban government refused to handover Osama. This rejection of Am bin Laden on the plea of his status as a guest in Afghanistan. This rejection of American demand proved to be the last nail in the coffin of Taliban government and brought a great change in the whole political scenario of the region.

As far as the solution of this issue is concerned, it has already been initiated in the form of ‘Bonn accord’ The salient features of this agreement are as follows:

The agreement acknowledges the right of the people of Afghanistan to freely determine their own political future in accordance with the principles of Islam, democracy, pluralism and social justice, and expresses appreciation of the Afghan mujahedeen for their years of combat and sacrifice for the defense of the country’s independence.

The agreement notes that there interim arrangements are intended as a first step towards the establishment of a broad-based, gender-sensitive, multi-ethnic and fully representative government.

The agreement establishes an interim authority for the convening of the Emergency Loya Jirga, a central Bank and a Supreme court. The Emergency Loya Jirga shall decide on a Transitional Authority to lead Afghanistan until a fully representative government can be elected through free and fair elections, held not later than two years from the date of convening of Emergency Loya Jirga.

A ‘constitutional Loya Jirga’ shall be convened within eighteen months of the establishment of Transitional Authority, in order to adopt a new constitution for Afghanistan. Till then the agreement restores the constitution of 1964, save for the role given to the monarchy.

The Interim Administration shall establish an independent Human Rights commission with UN help, to monitor human rights and investigate violations. Due attention should be paid to the representation of women as well as all other segments of Afghan population in the Emergency Loya Jirga.

While responsibility for law and order lies with the Afghans themselves, some time may be needed for Afghans to establish new security and armed forces, the participants therefore requested the UN security council to consider authorizing the early deployment to Afghanistan of a United Nation’s mandated force. This force will assist in the maintenance of security. The participants also pledged to withdraw all military units from Kabul and all other urban centers or other areas in which the US mandated force is deployed. So conceived in this way, the agreement signed by different Afghanistan. It is remarkable that even with militarization and foreign connections, the ethnic groups haven’t renounced Afghan nationalism. The Afghan spirit, and a common sense of belong to this old country have survived the long years of civil war. For this reason, they are back together for the first time in quarter of a century. Their vision, the direction, of change and spirits are high and they can build a “common homeland”

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