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When intentions speak louder than actions

There are only two types of Afghans that one comes across anywhere: those who are self respecting to a fault, never break their word, are steadfast in friendship and who won’t brook even a semblance of authority over them by those who, they think, have no right to impose themselves upon them. The majority of Afghans are known to belong to that genre of their population. The other section of Afghans are those who have no shame, no scruples trading their self esteem, their respect and integrity in exchange for petty gains and pecuniary benefits and who are looked upon as traitors by the majority of Afghans. Warlords like Rashid Dostum and tens of thousands of his Afghani followers belong to the latter category of Afghans. There are numerous such stories about him involving his underhand deals, both with his friends and foes over a long period of time and with the sole aim of making money. 

One such story involves his close and exemplary friendship with President Najibullah during the latter’s regime in Afghanistan who, under the cover of darkness, had decided to leave the country in the teeth of Mujahideen taking control of Afghanistan after the Soviets had exited from there in 1989. Expectedly, he had confided his travel plans to his then close confidant Rashid Dostum who, true to his credo, had struck a deal with the Mujahideen in exchange for sharing Najibullah’s plans. The result was that the fleeing president was kidnapped near the Kabul airport and killed soon thereafter. A casual look into his palace which has been taken over by Taliban and going viral on social media right now should serve to underscore his lust for money, as has been the case with a whole lot of those like him. But yes, despite their fatal faults including their highly questionable approach towards gender issues as was witnessed during their previous term that they have now vowed not to repeat this time around in Afghanistan, Taliban come across as an antithesis to the latter brand of Afghans.

Here the question arises what exactly had led to such rapid advances of the Taliban and the subsequent takeover of Afghanistan by them and whether their no-nonsense approach of the invasion of their land by  American forces had played a part in that apocalyptic development. For all one knows, there are reasons to believe that that has surely been the chief factor in their two-decades long relentless struggle against the Ashraf Ghani government who they saw as the puppet regime installed by the Americans to occupy their land against their wishes. This is borne out by the long and  chequered history of Afghanistan involving its zero tolerance towards occupation of that land by foreign powers. But that is by no means the only reason!

Of other possible reasons, the following ones are equally likely:

1. The real intentions of America behind its move to invade Afghanistan who had the “larger mission” of occupying rather than to “civilise and restore sanity” to that country as was made out to be the case by the Bush administration.

2. Ashraf Ghani as the most corrupt ruler of Afghanistan who was described as incompetent by Joe Biden and as a ‘total crook’ by Donald Trump in a recent statement.

3. Lack of motivation of the Afghan armed forces who were trained and armed to the teeth with the most advanced weapons by the Americans.

4. The China-Russia-Pakistan nexus in the still unfolding great game in Afghanistan.

And the much talked-about

5. Role of the Pak army, the ISI and the Pak government providing the necessary wherewithal to the Taliban to ensure their resounding victory against the sole superpower and its powerful allies.

I am afraid it’s still early days to be able to disentangle the complexity underlying the developments that have climaxed into the grand finale on August 15th, 2021 in Afghanistan

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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Written by M A Sofi

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