Editor’s note: Last August the Taliban announced that Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansoor had replaced their supreme leader Mullah Omar, who had not been in seen in public since 2001 and whose death was recently confirmed. Mansoor’s rise has led to new speculation about the future direction of the group and for peace talks.
Fourteen years after the Taliban collapsed, Afghanistan is still in a war and fighting. Afghanistan is still screaming and moaning. It is still a center of violence against women and children. Government and civil society have been unable to manage the huge international donations to rebuild our country or to come up with a strategic plan to deal with the many issues of this land.
The Taliban is a conundrum without an answer. The new leader, Mullah Mansoor, is a tyrant and a killer. In his speech to the Taliban he said they will continue war against Afghanistan to gain power. They claim the government is too weak to stop them.
Unfortunately, there also are influential authorities in our government who are willing to bring in the Taliban, along with its dictatorship-style policies, to continue its violence. We should recognize that the Afghan government, including the Ministry of the Interior, is delivering power and guns for local elders to carry on the war and fight against the Taliban. We read this in the local publications and on social media. This is not a good strategy. It carries dangerous risks for the future of Afghanistan.
Security in Afghanistan is the responsibility of the Afghanistan government. The local communities should not be empowered with guns. The communities are responsible for the rule of law. It is not responsible to be supplying communities with guns to give to uneducated people in Afghanistan at a time when we have such a poor economy. It is just another security issue for the Afghan government. These armed people can just as easily join the Taliban or another opposing group instead of joining the government, depending on which group is offering rewards for helping.
To bring democracy and security, the Afghanistan government must be responsible. The government must start strategic planning for the politics, economy, education, and social future of the country.
When we look closely at the Afghan leadership and the presentations made by government officials in the media, we see many opposite opinions. Some of the high authorities are saying “We will fight against the Taliban.” Others are saying “No, we want a peace agreement with the Taliban.”
This is a big concern—that our government doesn’t have a united strategy on how to deal with the Taliban. This is why so many of our leaders and our people are divided into so many groups, tribes, and races. It does not help the national interest.
In reality the Taliban are unwilling to sign any kind of peace agreement with the Afghan government. Their leaders continue to announce war—Jihad—against Afghan society, especially against educated people, both men and women. They want to take over Afghanistan again.
Their leader Mullah Monsoor, according to some short clips published by social media, is saying that Jihad in the name of Islam is necessary and vital and important in Afghanistan.
The Afghanistan community has long been divided into many groups and this is one of the reasons why Afghanistan is an easy place for the Taliban to pursue their radical policies and strategies. Unfortunately many Afghan people agree with the Taliban’s backward ideas, that women should be covered and should not be educated or that men must wear long beards.
How did all this war come about? Forty years ago, before the coming of the Russian military, Afghanistan’s king, Zahir Shah, went to Italy for treatment of his eyes. While he was gone, his cousin, Dawood Shah, made a coup and the Russian military came to Afghanistan changing the course of Afghanistan’s history ever since then to war.
What will happen in the future? President Ashraf Ghani isn’t fulfilling the promises of his election campaign. But there are other reasons also encouraging the Taliban in the last year to think that they are now in power and can proceed with their suicide bombings and other attacks around the country. We have had the withdrawal of huge foreign militaries and at the same time there is less faith in our new government around the world.
Sadly, despite the huge donations by the international community to help Afghanistan rebuild, the new government is unable to manage a good strategy or monitor the donations. This is resulting in continuing corruption. We need a leader who can encourage our ministries to work together and trust each other and create a united strategy for our nation.
Wikipedia photo: photographer unknown. The current leader of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, as seen in this undated handout photograph by the Taliban.