Taliban 2.0: A political void leading Afghanistan to uncertain future

Taliban 2.0: A political void leading Afghanistan to uncertain future

With the foreign forces left Afghanistan and the Taliban grabbing power, the US influence in the country is diminishing and new influencing powers are rising. It is changing the region’s security architecture, political ecosystem and leading the country to an uncertain future through the ongoing turmoil.

A political void has been created in South and Central Asia when NATO and US forces left Afghanistan. Many people are wondering who will occupy the position when it becomes available. Other countries have long-standing interests in Afghanistan that are expected to be pursued more aggressively in the future, including Pakistan, Iran, and China.

They will not be as influential as the US in moulding Afghanistan’s future as a whole. Still, all three countries are interested in establishing security throughout the country for their national security reasons. The Taliban wants to build good relations with its neighbours to gain international credibility and attract investment for much-needed economic growth.

Islamabad has claimed that Indian intelligence helped plan and carry out terrorist strikes against Pakistan from Afghan land in the past. According to reports, the Haqqani network, a branch of the Afghan Taliban, has received support from Pakistani intelligence agencies.

Because the Taliban seized Kabul and US troops departed, Islamabad’s decision-makers and military leaders saw these events as beneficial. With the Taliban in power, because archrival India is no longer in the game. Some have speculated, however, that Pakistan does not have unchallenged authority over the Taliban. Like Kabul in the 1990s, Islamabad is wary. It is not taking a solo flight to recognize the Taliban authority right now. Pakistan has great aspirations for economic cooperation with Kabul, even though it has not recognized the Kabul administration formally.

Exports from Pakistani ports to landlocked Afghanistan decreased by 80% under Ashraf Ghani’s administration.

Exports from Pakistani ports to landlocked Afghanistan decreased by 80% under Ashraf Ghani’s administration, as Kabul began to prefer Iranian ports supported by India. As a result, bilateral commerce shrank from $2.8 billion in 2011 to $1.8 billion in 2012. Islamabad wants Pakistani ports to be once again used for Afghan imports and for bilateral trade to increase. With the Taliban in power, Pakistan intends to enhance trade with Central Asia, with substantial room for expansion. Turkey wants the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (TAPI) pipeline to send Turkmen gas to these three South Asian countries.

On another side, Afghanistan’s natural riches, which are believed to be worth $1 to $3 trillion, are also of interest to China. Besides rare earth elements, the country has huge amounts of gold, platinum and silver, and precious metals like copper, iron and chromium. Taliban leaders have shown a willingness to share their country’s vast natural resources in exchange for money and power. China, on the other hand, is concerned about the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. ETIM and other terrorist groups operating on Afghan territory might destabilize Xinjiang province if the Taliban government cannot keep them under control.

Afghanistan’s instability might also serve as a breeding ground for other violent groups that could threaten China’s BRI efforts in the region.

Afghanistan’s instability might also serve as a breeding ground for other violent groups that could threaten China’s BRI efforts in the region. Any Chinese mining or other commercial initiatives would be halted if there was unrest in the country. Afghan resources are also of interest to other regional and global entities. They may use armed organizations or warlords in the region to protect their interests. Nevertheless, Iranian officials also chastised the Taliban for the absence of minorities in the newly declared cabinet. They have a particular interest in ensuring the safety of Afghanistan’s Hazara Shia population, which suffered under the Taliban regime.

Iran is interested in Afghanistan both politically and economically. Iranian worldwide trade has been badly affected by US sanctions. However, Afghanistan under the Taliban has not shunned economic involvement with Iran because the US preferred it that way. Despite the recent surge of Iranian exports into Afghanistan, Iran intends to keep its foothold in the sector. Exports from Iran to Afghanistan reached about $2 billion in 2018. A substantial amount of Afghan imports passed through Iranian ports, making Iran Afghanistan’s largest trading partner last year.

Taliban

Iran’s porous border with Afghanistan will continue to be a source of narcotics. However, the country will try to stop them from entering the country. There are many routes for Afghan opium to reach Europe and the Persian Gulf; Iran is one. In the past, the Taliban has been blamed for facilitating the drug trade and reaping the rewards. As a result, Iran faces a significant hurdle in working with the Taliban regime to resolve the country’s narcotics problem.

With the Taliban in power, an anti-US alliance will neutralize US influence and establish the region’s new security architecture.

The countries that border Afghanistan – Pakistan, China, and Iran – are interested in seeing Kabul have a stable administration that can protect Afghan borders and promote economic activity in the region. They are likely to work together on this, as well as with Russia. With the Taliban in power, an anti-US alliance will neutralize US influence and establish the region’s new security architecture.

Taliban officials declared last month that schools would reopen. However, they only requested males of all ages to return, excluding those in senior school. The action has sparked debate over the organization’s position on women’s education policy. 

Many Afghan women and girls lost their educational rights after the Afghan government was overthrown.

If we look at the other aspect of this new government, we can see that many Afghan women and girls lost their educational rights after overthrowing the Afghan government. It was the first time they felt miserable and wept over me because of my gender. While the Taliban claimed to want young people to stay and use their skills, they drove them away.

As soon as the Taliban retook control on August 15th, 20 years after being ousted by a US-led military assault, thousands of young Afghans fled the nation in fear.

Afghanistan’s Taliban government has come under fire from Qatar and Pakistan. They want the international community to engage with the Taliban on female educational opportunities.

Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani of Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said it was “extremely disheartening” to see the Taliban reverting to their 1990s policies banning women and girls from education and employment in Afghanistan.

Before the Taliban came, several families relied on traditional customs to keep their girls out of school, especially the older ones. 

Taliban officials expressing judgment on women’s dress and scent are considered by many Afghan women as omens of worse things to come because of the absence of women in the cabinet.

Taliban officials expressing judgment on women’s dress and scent are considered by many Afghan women as omens of worse things to come because of the absence of women in the cabinet. After the Taliban took over the country in August, the future of sport in Afghanistan was in jeopardy. 

The new Taliban administration ignored or retaliated against hundreds of athletes, particularly female ones, who fled or went into hiding. Those who lived outside of Afghanistan feared the worse, as the armed organization in charge of the nation from 1996 until the US-led invasion in 2001 had banned all women’s sports. According to a new Taliban official report, women will be prohibited from participating in sports. However, officials later claimed the statement was not translated accurately from Pushto.

In sports, present and former athletes are sceptical about what the future holds despite the Taliban’s claims of inclusivity in administration and a moderate attitude toward women.

In other words, it is a method to end a strong cycle. In the first place, you deny females the opportunity to receive an education and their other rights, which means they will be unable to find employment when they grow up.

Also Read: Enter the Taliban 2.0: Implications for Afghanistan and neighbourhood

(Heela Hakimi specialises in international relations majoring in Peace and Diplomacy. She worked in the Parliament of Afghanistan and the consulate department of the Chinese embassy in Kabul.)

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Autofintechs.com. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.)

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