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

We will not Go Back to the Past

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We will not Go Back to the Past

The sudden and hasty decision of Donald Trump to withdraw more than half of American troops from Afghanistan provided a hasty and turbulent debate throughout the country. From the low level of society up to the high authorities, analysts, media and even the at the international level there are discussion about its probable implications. Amongst the reactors, the Afghan parliament and some of political circles deeply expressed their concerns and warned of its negative impact on the fragile condition and gained achievements. Truly, this is a genuine danger for the 17 years achievements and current complicated situation of the country.
The sudden and hasty decision of the President of the United States also shocked many inside the United State and, to some extent, he offhandedly spurred this debate. Pentagon warned as the quick decision of Trump would put the Afghanistan’s achievement in danger. He also announced to withdraw the US forces from Syria which opened a vast chasm within the U.S. ruling circles. Resignations from the Trump administration and ensuing denunciations are calling the attention of the masses to the heated conflict. The top echelons of the Democratic Party and corporate media “talking heads” are in an uproar of opposition. They are attacking Trump for “caving in” to Iran and Russia and allegedly endangering their national security — by which they mean he is harming U.S. interests.
But what has reflected in Afghanistan media was more overwhelming and inconsequential. The Taliban became overconfident and declared that the international community is accepting their demands and their existence in Afghanistan. Some of the neighboring countries who have supported the group in recent years also got excited about the decision and interpreted it as humiliation for the United States. Some of the jihadi circles and family parties who used to sit on the ready table over the past years and recently they have felt deprived of those benefits are pleased to be in the mood to think about the interim government and division of political spoils.  For this reason, they have seriously sought the government to negotiate with Taliban. The government opposition groups have also become happy without thinking about the consequences of Taliban return, and they are eagerly waiting for changes at any cost.
These dogmatic stances show that political understandings regarding country’s issue are still in its childhood and very shallow in the country; the partial withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan does not mean an end to the Pentagon’s militarism and end of U.S. wars in Afghanistan or end in the region. The U.S. military has 170,000 troops stationed outside the U.S. in 150 countries, in more than 800 overseas bases. Nearly 40,000 are assigned to classified missions in locations that Washington refuses to even disclose. Because the Pentagon has continually renamed and shuffled its forces in the Middle East, it’s impossible to know how many troops are on standby and how many are on rotation.
Herein, it seems that the government reaction was more reasonable and to a large extent proportional to the general attitude of society. However, some of the expressions against Taliban were very weak, suppliant and pragmatic. But what has come in the analytical and strategic reaction of the second vice president has created many hopes. For the first time, people feel that the government is not willing to deal with the Taliban at any cost, and is not ready to sacrifice the achievements of the past several years for the sake of so-called peace process which is not accordance with the demand of Afghan people, but the will of others. Since the Taliban were called unhappy brothers by the previous government, unfortunately the public credence has been decreasing.
It should be pointed out that the government’s behavior against Taliban has been in a way that has always raised public suspicions about itself. Unfortunately, over the past years and even since the beginning of the failed peace process with the Taliban, it has been unevenly comported with them without any achievements for the government and the people of Afghanistan. All these comportment and high expenditures in the infamous peace process have brought nothing but distrust and gap between people and government and causing more frustration and dismay. Now, it seems that government has noticed this issue, and this is a positive step towards general convergence and defense of the achievements and human values.
In general, the government’s response to Trump’s recent decision regarding withdrawal half of the US troops from Afghanistan and launch of multilateral peace talks is “We do not go back to the past  The provisions of this recent position with appointment of two strong security officials were what many people have been looking for and expected from the government. Today, all those who believe in the human rights and democratic values are opposed to any process that destroys these values and achievements; and as a result, no one is ready to return to zero point of the past.
The current values and achievements that have come about were the product of tens of years of bellicose struggle that the Afghan people paid heavy cost to earn. It is very clear that the Taliban group is not content with anything but the closure of the human values enshrined in the current constitution of Afghanistan. Therefore, the only way for the people and the current government of Afghanistan is to stand against the illegitimate demands of the Taliban and to prevent from returning to the black era. We should not go back to the past under any circumstances and never submit everything to the Taliban. This is the only legitimate and humanitarian demand of all the people of Afghanistan articulate in unison, “We will not go back to the past.”

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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