Jul 12, 2021, 9:43 AM
Journalist ID: 1843
News Code: 84400943
1 Persons
Taliban needs more changes

Tehran, IRNA - In 2001, the United States launched a war to overthrow the Taliban regime. For the next 20 years, American troops have been stationed in Afghanistan. Although Washington helped form the Afghan government by forces friendly to the United States, Afghanistan has never been stabilized.

On April 14, 2021, the Biden administration announced that it would complete its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by September 11. With the acceleration of the U.S. troop withdrawal, the Afghan government forces have encountered a fierce attack by the Taliban, and the country's security situation has deteriorated sharply.

If the internal conflict escalates further, Afghanistan is likely to become a hotbed of extremism or terrorism. The war launched by the United States and its subsequent occupation and irresponsible withdrawal not only brought serious disasters to Afghanistan, but also posed security threats to the border areas of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries.

Out of considerations of international morality and self-interest, China and Iran are actively helping Afghanistan achieve peace and stability. Although Russia does not border Afghanistan, Russia has military treaty obligations with Afghanistan’s neighbors Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, so Russia is also very concerned about the situation in Afghanistan.

At present, the Taliban is controlling an increasingly larger land area, especially the ports leading to several neighboring countries. The Taliban has once again become a key force that cannot be ignored on the political scene in Afghanistan. Without the participation of the Taliban, it would be difficult for any peace plan in Afghanistan to succeed. Both Afghanistan and the international community must realize this.

The Taliban had a failed ruling experience in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. At that time, the Taliban regime was recognized by only three countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. However, in the past few years, countries such as the United States, Russia, Iran, and China have held talks with the Taliban. Many high-ranking Taliban officials have also lived in Qatar for a long time. This shows that these countries have largely recognized the status of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Compared with 20 years ago, the Taliban has undergone some changes. For example, it has actively communicated with the United States, Russia, China, Iran and other countries, which shows that the Taliban is paying more and more attention to its international image. After all, it is difficult for any political force that is generally rejected by the international community to succeed today. The Taliban, which has suffered a painful defeat in power, will not fail to understand this.

Now, if the Taliban hopes to go further in the political arena in Afghanistan, it must not pose a challenge to neighboring countries on some sensitive issues. Recently, the Taliban publicly announced that it would not allow Afghanistan to become a venue for international struggles and expressed the hope to develop good relations with neighboring countries including China. This is a wise move.

However, it is undeniable that both Afghanistan and the international community still have many doubts about the Taliban. For example, if it takes power again, how will it treat women and education? How to deal with the relationship between religion and politics?

Obviously, the Taliban has not changed enough so far. The Taliban must answer the questions it is facing with more and more effective governance programs and practices.

*Professor at the Middle East Studies Institute of Shanghai International Studies University


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