Trump & Taliban trying to go against time through self-defeating US-Afghanistan deal. By Hem Raj Jain
24 Feb 2020
As per media reports and article by Sirajuddin Haqqani:
(https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/opinion/taliban-afghanistan-war-haqqani.html ) Taliban and the USA are going to sign a deal on February 29 for solving Afghanistan problem. But this deal is against time hence neither it is welcome nor will succeed (being against time) as explained below: -
(1)- Both Trump & Taliban do not understand that in modern world minimum 6 elements are necessary for success of any political model namely democracy, secularism, rule-of-law, modern science & technology, mobility and ‘new horizon for mankind’ as generally mentioned at https://www.alwihdainfo.com/New-horizon-for-mankind-expects-debate-on-global-issues-during-2020-US-President-election-campaign_a80912.html
(2)- Any government is subsumed in State and the State is subsumed in society (nation) especially in democracy. Hence any policy of government which is against long term interest of the country will not succeed. Trump has been trying to harm the interest of the USA by destroying rule-of-law (international) hence this Afghanistan deal will not succeed.
(3)- Otherwise also nowadays any deal signed by the USA is not worth the paper it is written on in view of the fate of Iran nuclear deal, which has been cancelled by Trump administration arbitrarily without taking other signatories on board.
(4)- Taliban is unnecessarily parroting its commitment to Islam without realizing that in modern secular dispensations too, the ESSENTIALS of Islam can easily be practiced. Islam is not a religion like Hinduism (which does not have any book) but is based on sacred books namely Quran, Hadis etc. Hence Taliban should understand that whatever points of Islam the Taliban wants to practice / implement in Afghanistan, can easily be incorporated in the Constitution of Afghanistan [instead of leaving the interpretation of Islam open ended which will dangerously leave Afghanistan at the mercy of medieval (and at times blood-thirsty) clergy of Islam].
(5)- Taliban is also living in its make-believe world when it thinks that the US-troops will completely leave Afghanistan. Trump can’t afford to pull-out all the US-troops from Afghanistan especially in this presidential election year for the simple reason that the people of the USA will simply not support USA leaving Afghanistan (after losing so many / much US lives, blood and money in Afghanistan) in the hands of Islamic regime (which Taliban claims to bring).
(6)- Taliban is right only in one respect when Haqqani says that – “We are committed to working with other parties (in Afghanistan) in a consultative manner of genuine respect to agree on a new, inclusive political system in which the voice of every Afghan is reflected and where no Afghan feels excluded”. But Taliban is trying to be over-smart when it wants dialogue with present regime headed by Ashraf Ghani after coming in power and not before it. Rather Taliban should know that: -
(i)- It will be very difficult if not impossible for Trump (in this election year) to sell this US-deal with Taliban (given their militant-Jihadi background) to the people of the USA. People of the USA has no problem when Taliban fought and killed US security forces (as it is war) but they certainly have problem when militant Jihadis of Taliban killed civilians deliberately in huge way.
(ii)- The military dominance of Taliban in Afghanistan is also not so much or irreversible as Taliban believes or boasts. Trump is avoiding any military escalation in Afghanistan not so much out of any ideological reasons but simply to avoid any harm to his Presidential- election prospects. Hence whatever may be the outcome of US Presidential election in November 2020, this Afghanistan deal hardly has any chance of allegiance to it at least from the USA.
(iii)- Trump hardly has any sympathy towards suffering Muslims which is evident not only from his policies towards Palestinians but also from the fact that during his speech at Ahmedabad, Trump did not utter a single word against government of India which is denying human rights for the last more than 6 months of Muslim Kashmiris (including arrest and imprisonment of most of the mainstream politicians of Kashmir valley).
(iv)- Trump tries to justify his callousness towards suffering of Muslims all over the world by taking an excuse (as he did indirectly at Ahmedabad too) that Muslims are or support terrorism. But Trump does not understand that only killing of civilians by militant Jihadis as happened in 9/11 at New York or 26/11 at Mumbai etc is terrorism but killing of security forces by militant-Jihadis as happened at Pathankot or Pulwama in India is war (because terrorism can be only against those who can be terrorized and security forces are not supposed to be terrorized).
(v)- Trump also does not understand that all other societies have two powers (of sanctioned physical coercion) namely military and police (which includes par-military forces too) but only Islam has third such force which is of Jihadis. If other societies do not have such third force, then it is not the fault of Islam.
(vi)- The regimes installed by the USA in Afghanistan after 9/11 though has left much to be desired but still under these regimes a large part of Afghanistan has tested & realized the benefits of modern secular, liberal democratic political order for the last over 18 years. Hence despite their present military dominance the Taliban will not be able to bring peace & stability in Afghanistan the way they are trying to come to power by steam-rolling the present regime and their supporters by relying merely on Trump administration which is evidently in any case more interested in winning 2020 election than in the genuine and long term interest of either the USA or of Afghanistan.
As unfortunately Trump is not in a position to see reason due to presidential election year in the USA therefore, in view of above mentioned, at-least Taliban should tell Trump administration that it wants to wait for some time (before signing deal with the USA) for the purpose of drafting a Constitution of Afghanistan (based on Secularism, Federalism and Democracy including inner-party Democracy) which will be published for taking all the people of Afghanistan in confidence on this Constitution and then present Afghan regime and Taliban in consultation with the USA can formulate a road-map for peaceful transfer of power to Taliban. This is the only and effective way for bringing permanent peace, justice and prosperity to Afghanistan.