Afghanistan, which has been given the epithet of the heart of Asia, is going through a transition. The United States troops that were deployed in the country will pull back by 11 September 2021. This comes after suffering from heavy losses- both militarily because of the loss of life of US soldiers and economically. This change which came after two decades will determine the fate of the entire region.
The experts believe that this might form a power vacuum because, in the absence of support for the United States, the elected government would not be able to hold peace and the Taliban might take over once again. The radical ideology supported by the group might retract the freedom that the afghans enjoyed during the brief period of an order under the Afghan government. However, the youth who received non-religious education might resist such surrender of rights, the pen cannot win a war against gun.
Peace in Afghanistan seems a distant goal because the tensions between the Afghan government and the Taliban were not resolved. The US endeavour failed because the peace process, which is a power sharing agreement, was never conceded by the Taliban. They see the US retreat as a victory. They will try to expand their influence which was confined to 19% of the country after a long and tiring operation in the past 20 years.
The Biden administration decision to leave the country in this state is being condemned globally and rightly so. The conditions in Afghanistan are conducive for a civil war. The biggest fear is that the rollback of US troops will bring things back to square one. All the progress achieved might vanish. In the end, it all boils down to the innocent lives that will churn in the politics and power play. Half of the pullback process is complete and the rush to fast track the process is clearly visible. Along with the US, Australia also closed its embassy till matters settle.
India and Afghanistan
India has upheld its stand. It will work for peace keeping in the Hindu Kush state. Assistance has been provided from India’s side in the past as well. These include road project from Zaranj to Delram, Salma dam power project in Herat province and construction of the Afghan Parliament. The American actions will have an impact on Indian investment in the region. India, along with other countries will have to play a bigger role in maintaining the gains that were achieved in the past while working for a peaceful Afghanistan. The developmental work done in the country will give some advantage to India. Also now India has opened communication with the Taliban. This gives a chance to serve as a better mediation of peace terms. India has been an advocate of ‘Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled’ peace process.
A developed and peaceful Afghanistan will be good for Asia as a whole. Lastly, the heart of Asia should not suffer from a stroke. The issue needs a resolution and the countries will have to come together to help Afghanistan.