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Adam Saud

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

Since the Taliban has claimed to own the power and authority of Afghanistan, in which way the Taliban will interact with nearby countries? How they will establish a tolerated government and how they deal with the problem of fundamentalist and citizens?

As the whole world knows Taliban captured Kabul on 15th August 2021 without any resistance by the Afghan National Army, which has been trained and provided state of the art weapons by the US for about two decades. Most of the leaders, scholars and even common masses across the world are keen about the Taliban’s national as well foreign policies. Since coming to power, Taliban have repeatedly stated that they will keep normal relations with all the countries of the world. They also stated that they want to have special relations with the neighboring states because Afghanistan’s development is dependent upon the development of the whole region.

As per my understanding of the situation and Taliban’s relations with the nearby countries of Afghanistan, two decades long war with American and NATO occupied forces alongwith the Doha round of talks have given Taliban a kind of maturity, confidence and art of negotiations. Keeping in the view the previous Taliban regime’s policies and their subsequent outcome, current Taliban leadership seems more rational while dealing with the internal problems and external relations. Almost every nearby state supported Doha talks which gave a message to Taliban that all of them want a stable Afghanistan. Taliban delegations visited almost all the important capitals even before their takeover of Kabul. They visited Moscow, Beijing, Islamabad, Tehran, Tashkent and so on. Hence, after coming to power, Taliban have invited all the nearby states to contribute in the development of Afghanistan. They even stressed New Delhi to keep investing in Afghanistan and assured that Indian investment will be protected by their regime. Furthermore, they desired to have bilateral trade with India through Pakistan. Taliban have assured the whole world that they will not allow anyone to use their land against any other country particularly, nearby states.

I think, Taliban will act rationally for the time being and will try to have good relations with all the nearby states. However, in order to contain the rise of fundamentalist Taliban again, it is extremely important to integrate the Afghan economy into broader regional economic integration. BRI and CPEC projects will surely help integration of the Afghan economy into the broader Eurasian network. The fall of Kabul into Taliban hands has given birth to the so called Pakistan-Russia-China-Iran nexus. Convergence of interest among these countries on Afghanistan will be a key to stability and development of Afghanistan. Furthermore, stable Afghanistan will help South and Central Asia connectivity in a better way. Need of the time is to extensively engage the Taliban regime in positive endeavors.

So far their model of government and dealing with the internal issues and citizens are concerned, they have announced a general amnesty. They realise that peoples’ support is a must for their success. In order to build confidence among the general populace, they did not forbid female education as well employment. Female anchors on TV channels are allowed to continue their job. Even, Taliban spokesperson gave an interview to a female anchor on TOLO news channel. Currently, freedom of speech has not been curtailed as isolated protests by the general public against the Taliban regime have been reported. However, the Taliban did not take any action against them and let those protests end peacefully. In one case, there were a small number of women who protested against the Taliban in their presence. Female doctors, nurses and teachers have been requested to continue their work.

It is safe to conclude that at least for the time being, the Taliban regime is a key to stability in Afghanistan which will have positive impacts on the broader regional economies and intends to have cordial relations with the nearby states. So far, their internal policies are concerned, we have to wait and see what actually they implement in the coming times. Whatever will be the future politics of Afghanistan, it will not be a repetition of 1990s policies when Afghanistan was plunged into the dark ages. The most important task for Taliban must be social welfare where equal rights to all citizens must be provided. Safety of all citizens, who do not challenge the writ of the government, should be ensured and all minority groups must be given protection.

Editor Assistant Research Fellow: Xianglin Gu

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