Taliban in power: What’s next

Written by The Frontier Post

Stanislav Ivanov
The 20-year presence of the US and NATO troops in Afghanistan ended and the radical Islamist Taliban movement, which they overthrew in 2001, came to power again. What can be expected from the next change of the ruling regime in this country and the region as a whole? How strong are the positions of the Taliban in the multinational Afghan state and will they be able to bring it out of the current severe financial, economic and social crisis?
It is not easy to answer these questions and predict the situation in Afghani-stan; for this you have to solve an equation with many unknowns. And yet, several scenarios for the development of events in this country are most likely.
The most favorable option for the Afghans themselves and the world community would be a peaceful solution to all the problems of Afghan society, reaching a consensus between tribes, confessions and various political forces. It is possible that the Taliban will take into account the negative experience of their stay in power in 1996-2001. and will try to avoid the same mistakes. If the Taliban adhere to the peace agreement reached in Doha and do not allow new crimes against humanity, resolutely dissociate themselves from all contacts and ties with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, then over time they will be able to achieve exclusion from the list of terrorist organizations of the UN and individual countries, get international recognition, the necessary help and support from abroad.
Now Afghanistan is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe for a number of reasons (the collapse of the economy and public administration, drought in a number of provinces, freezing of foreign accounts and assets, suspension of humanitarian aid, etc.). To gain a foothold in power, the Taliban government must provide equal opportunities in the new state to all Afghans, regardless of their tribal or religious affiliation, including former civil servants, military personnel, representatives of other security forces and women. It would be desirable to integrate representatives of all national minorities into power.
So far, little is being done in the country to implement the first scenario, so the threat of a humanitarian catastrophe and a new armed conflict remains.
If the Taliban continue the course of usurpation of power, the forcible imposition of the dogmas of radical Islam and Sharia law on the Afghan society, they persecute dissidents, supporters of previous regimes, etc., then the country may again plunge into an atmosphere of chaos and violence, in which case a renewal cannot be ruled out. civil war.
The situation is complicated by the fact that the Taliban leaders in Kabul are verbally declaring their commitment to the Doha Agreement and promising to protect the rights and freedoms of all Afghans, and on the ground, field commanders are carrying out executions and massacres of former soldiers, police officers and civilians. Women are being deprived of their previously won rights, and the media and all cultural institutions are taken under strict control. The Taliban have a certain euphoria from an easy victory, the appearance in their hands of huge arsenals of the most modern weapons, including armored vehicles, artillery, air defense systems, aviation, drones, etc.
The terrorist threat from the Afghan direction is not removed from the regional security agenda. Along with weakly controlled, radical Taliban detachments from Kabul, who openly express their dissatisfaction with the “compromise policy” of the leaders of the movement and even accuse them of betrayal, Al-Qaeda cells, detachments of Islamic State militants and other terrorist groups remain in the country. organizations such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Islamic State of Khorasan and the Islamic Party of Turkestan.
These former allies of the Taliban pose a particular danger to the countries of Central Asia: Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, whose borders with Afghanistan are more than 2 thousand km long. Jihadists can use the flows of refugees who are trying to find temporary refuge in neighboring states. At the same time, there is a threat of penetration of terrorist groups into Russia and China. In particular, Beijing is concerned about the activities of radical Islamist groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, located in the northwest of the country, where more than 10 million Muslim Uyghurs live. In this regard, it is extremely important for both Russia and China to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan. It should also be borne in mind that with the Taliban coming to power in Kabul, drug traffic from the Afghan direction does not decrease in any way, there are fears that it may even increase.
Despite the ambiguity in the intentions and subsequent actions of the Taliban leaders, most of the states interested in stabilizing the situation in this country are making significant efforts to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan and do not refuse contacts with representatives of the Taliban.
The UN, EU, SCO and other international organizations provide targeted humanitarian aid to the regions of the country most affected by the drought; the issue of lifting restrictive sanctions on the Taliban is also on the agenda. China is trying to continue mutually beneficial cooperation on previously concluded projects, Russia is conducting an active dialogue with representatives of the Taliban and is also providing humanitarian assistance. Of the neighboring countries, Pakistan and Uzbekistan are most active in establishing cooperation with the new authorities in Kabul.
There are certain prerequisites for the fact that, nevertheless, through the joint efforts of the world community, it will be possible to preserve peace in this long-suffering country.

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