My take on American withdrawal from Afghanistan

By : Tufail Dawar
North Waziristan

In the previous month, the President of United State Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of U.S military forces from Afghanistan on 11, September 2021. This is the end of the longest American war on Afghanistan land. Historically, Afghanistan is considered to be declared a graveyard for great empires. The people of the land defeated the few of the world most powerful kingdoms and empires. From Britain to Soviet Union and now United States, Afghanistan remained deadly land for all.

Keeping in consideration the current government in USA is scene eager to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible. Scholars and Policymakers are of the view that the announcement of withdrawal has multiple reasons. One of them is geographical complexion of the country. It is said that Afghan land is no man’s land. Its complex geographical features proved disastrous for invaders.

Secondly, the society of Afghanistan is divided on various lines which include ethnicity, sectarianism and religion. Therefore, the indigenous people are always very strong and collective. They never accommodate outsiders. So, it has become very difficult for the USA to achieve ultimate goals. Thirdly, the role of the regional power is also proved to be decisive for American to leave the region. The regional power such as China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan cannot afford the intervention of foreign powers in the region as it is consequential for the regional interests. So, all of them have tired their level best to force USA withdraw, so that they themselves guide and control Afghanistan.

Lastly, the policy orientation of the USA has always remained unclear and undefined. Initially, it aimed to remove and wipeout the Taliban and Al-Qaeda who are allegedly responsible for 9/11 attack. Furthermore, Afghan government needs political stability after the U.S withdrawal. They should bring Taliban under the umbrella of democratic process.

Historically, China always prefers economic and trade policy with its neighbor. CPEC is one of them. Through CPEC, Pakistan was able to fast-track $ 19 billion in electric power, and other infrastructure projects. But Pakistan bled foreign exchange as imports of machinery and material surged and exports lagged. From last seven decades China has a sound relationship with Pakistan. China has an opportunity the Afghanistan resources to its economic growth and concomitantly expands trade in the Afghanistan and Pakistan. To ensure security for CPEC it is quite challenging for Pakistan to counter extremism and terrorism. Meanwhile, the U.S withdrawal expected geo-political shift to geo-economic. With the expected political shift it is very important for Pakistan to ensure the stable political environment because no country can invest economic projects in the insecure atmosphere. Security must be ensured for economic project investment.

Secondly, Pakistan needs to reorder its internal priorities and capabilities and introduce structural reforms especially, in the merged districts of Ex-FATA. Police and Judiciary must be shifted to every districts of the Ex-FATA. Thirdly, mainstreaming the tribal belt under the constitution umbrella and deter extremism in the region. Because Ex-FATA practices the British draconian FCR law by which they are more limited to politics and economy. For geo-economics shift the exit on the Durand line at every district of Ex-FATA should be secure, safe, and exchange of trade should be regulated.

In a nut shell, the American withdrawal from Afghanistan will not have a Saigon-style moment; with helicopters ferrying people out of its embassy as the Taliban encroach on Kabul. The American withdrawal leaves behind a mess. The Taliban have contradictory goals. They clearly want a dominate force in a new government an Islamic emirate which was not considered by the constitution written after the invasion of 2001.

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