Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, November 21st, 2019

The Weakness of Kabul Diplomacy

After the very start of democratic process in 2001, the interim transitional government, and, latter on, elected government under preside of Mr. Karzia has repeatedly voiced out the motto of friendship and rapprochement with all countries, particularly with neighboring ones. Diplomatic struggles have never been stopped to increase the scale of bilateral relationship and clear out doubts and suspicion some of neighbors had. Frequently, Afghan diplomats and high-ranking officials have visited from neighboring countries and talked with their counterparts to pave way for further strengthening of cultural, economic and political ties, but the results do not seem convenient.

No doubt, when diplomats and political officials travel to a host country, what media portray is patting, friendly squeezing of hands, exchange of smile which make difficult to find out what is hidden behind such pretending welcoming. But the scale as well as the depth of ties can be measured on the basis of problem emerges thereafter. Minor problems can never even be considered among countries enjoying a level of bilateral trust and rapprochement, and major problems are also unable to put them at risk.

So, what is the standing of Afghanistan in this juncture? However, our neighbors instantly are expressing interest to help Kabul government and try their most to make it stable, but minor incidents have clearly showed the reality is not what is stated. Few months ago, Iran banned hundreds of Afghan trucks carrying oil and gas, which are vital for the fledgling economy of Afghanistan, which would bring instability in the political sphere also if continued. Same was in the case of Pakistan. Several times, Afghan commercial and transit companies have expressed serious concern about Pakistan's irresponsible measure creating problem to free and fair import and export of goods through Karachi port. These range of incidents, however minor, but pushed the mutual ties to edge of complete stoppage.

According to BBC Persian News, within a past year, six Afghan transport companies' agencies were closed in Tajikistan. Azimi, Mir Bachakot, Ashiq Mohammadi, Golyan, and Balkhe Bastan companies, which are transporting goods from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Tajikistan, failed to continue their activities. The alleged problem is not issuing Visa by embassy for Afghani drivers. But, Tajikistan's trucks are freely doing engaged in transportation in Northern Provinces with no problem.

This is not acceptable. Our neighbors are resistant to change their mentality and accept Kabul government as national. Therefore, their measures sometimes are not based on international laws, but on attitude built up during past three decades of chaos. The incidents show how diplomacy of Kabul government has been unable to change such a mentality even among economic weaker neighbors like, Tajikistan which does not play key role in the economy of Afghanistan. While, the prospect of a stable Afghanistan definitely do bigger assistance to Tajikistan's overall economic conditions. Such incidents also are clear signs that Afghan diplomats have not had a bargaining clout to change the climate. The improvement observed in this process with neighbors during past years largely depends on deign and unilateral interest of respected neighbors.

For this weakness, Afghan government wins the major blame. The continuing political instability and increase of corruption which has dealt serious blow to its efficiency are the major issues which weaken the bargaining power of Afghan diplomats. If a government is unable to, not only solve the problem of its citizens, but also itself involved in large scale corruption, definitely, no one give much importance. To have a bigger say, Kabul government has no alternative other then initiating a reform and diminishing corruption level to possible minimum level.