It appears that history is repeating itself in Afghanistan. During the 1980s, the western powers using Arab money and the Pakistani army, trained and armed thousands of Mujahideen to fight against the Soviet allied Afghan government in a showdown in their protracted cold-war against the Soviet Union. After years of conflict, the Soviets were forced to abandon their allied revolutionary government in Kabul. Consequently, Afghanistan as a de facto province of Pakistan became the hub of international terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism for a decade. The level of Islamic terrorism was so high that it engulfed not only Pakistan, Iran, and India but many western capitals were targeted by Jihadists trained in bases run by Pakistani secret services in Pakistan and Afghanistan. After differences surfaced between the Pakistani military establishment and their trained Jihadist organizations which were installed in Kabul as the rulers of Afghanistan after the collapse of the Najibullah government in 1992, Pakistan secret services created another Jihadist organization, the Taliban, and overthrow the Mujahideen government in 1996. When New York was attacked on September 11, 2001, western powers reacted, attacked Afghanistan with the help of Pakistan, and installed their favorite governments in Afghanistan.
Pakistan could not digest the overthrow of their Taliban government and reorganized Taliban fighters, financed them with narcotic trade money and a protracted guerrilla war began against the NATO forces. With reasons still unknown, the western powers, ignored and tolerated Pakistani role in the ruthless killings of Afghans and their forces by Taliban fighters operating from bases in Pakistan. Despite knowing that Pakistan is engaged in the destabilization of Afghanistan, on the one hand, for many years, they lavished Pakistan with financial and diplomatic support and on the other hand, political and military leaders of western powers repeatedly made it clear that they aim to make Afghanistan a democratic and progressive country.
Since 2019, it became obvious that the U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan is finally coming in a full circle. To the astonishment of democratic forces in Afghanistan and South Asia, President Trump announced a unilateral withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. It was a clear indication that Afghanistan is again being granted to the caretaking of the Pakistani military establishment. It is not a secret that Afghan government forces cannot withstand a Pakistan assault in the guise of the Taliban once NATO forces are gone.
To pacify the democratic forces in Afghanistan, in 2018, a so-called peace process was initiated between the Americans and the Taliban. Adding salt to the injury, the elected government in Kabul was bypassed in the negotiations.
By 2019, it became known to every observer in the region that after twenty years, the mighty western powers succumbed to the impact of their war which they fought against Pakistan-sponsored Taliban forces in Afghanistan. The new US administration has asked the United Nations to spearhead the conclusion of the peace process in Afghanistan. This initiative is believed by many observers as the repetition of what happened in the 1980s when the Geneva Agreement was signed ultimately paving the way for the Mujahideen takeover of Afghanistan.
Taking over Afghanistan by Pakistan through the Taliban might be a jackpot for the Pakistani establishment but it would certainly bring serious challenges not only to the people of this region but for the whole of humanity to face in the future. In regions of south Asia and the middle east where the people are already suffering from the devastations of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism sponsored by the military establishment of Pakistan and Iran, with an imminent takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, the only hope is that saner elements in the western capitals might not forget about Afghanistan in the coming months and years.
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