Afghanistan has been a battle ground of the superpowers since the Soviet invasion in 1979. The Soviet Union did not last more than ten years in Afghanistan and the last Soviet troops left this region in 1989. Soon after Soviet devastation, Mujahidin, the Islamic fighters, took over the country's administrations. The war did not end here, it rather got worse.
Different political parties were created and they began a new chapter of the civil war fighting for the power in the region. In 1996 Taliban under the leadership of Mullah Mohammd Umar took over the control of the country imposing the fundamentalist Islamic laws. The incident of World Trade Center in September, 11, 2001 conferred a good reason for George W. Bush administrations to attack the region in order to fight against the terrorist toestablish aworldwide peace and tranquility.
It is more than a decade that American troops have been fighting against the terrorists who are believed to be a great threat for the world security and stability. But, still they have not been able to cope with the security issues in the region.
The long term strategic partnership agreement between America and Afghanistan and the total withdrawal of international security troops by the end of 2014 will open a new chapter of challenges in the region, especially for Afghan government and citizens. After a decade of war in Afghanistan, the United States Special Forces finally succeeded to kill Usama bin Laden in May-02-2011 in Pakistan who was considered as the leading mastermind of Al-Qaeda. In June-2011, a month after the removal of Usama from the screen,the scenario encouraged the President Obama to declare that America had largely achieved its goals in Afghanistan, and now it is time to schedule for the troop withdrawal.
In Feb-01-2012, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said that American forces would step back from a combat role there as early as mid-2013, more than a year before all American troops were scheduled to come home. The American officials and their Afghan counterparts are quite positive regarding their achievements in Afghanistan for the last one decade. But will the Afghan security forces be able to maintain the rational security stability in the region? This is the question that every Afghan is desirous to know the answer and all the Afghans are doubtful about the capacity of the national security forces.
The overall international security troops' withdrawal by the end of 2014 has created a fear among the citizens in Afghanistan. The unemployment rate is increasing day by day. The Afghan currency is getting devalued. The stock markets are getting down because the major businesses are being shifted out of the country. No one dares to invest within the country. The country's economic stability is totally dependent on international aids. These are some dominant factors that will have direct impacts on the situation after 2014.
On the other hand, three decades of civil war has demolished the infrastructure of the country that has negatively affected the live stocks and agree culture in the country. The industrialinfrastructures of the country are demolished and the country is compelled to import all its needs from Pakistan, Iran and China. Pakistan, Iran and India are the three leading neighbors who have got a direct influence in the future security stability of the country. In order to maintain a peaceful relationship with the three countries, Afghan government is constrained to consider the threeneighbor's joint interests in every aspects of making decision.
Moreover, Iran and Pakistan have proved that they have never been co-operative enough in termsof war against terrorism; they have beenpromising to fight against the terrorists in the region but have never acted upon their agreements. Pakistan has been benefiting the international aids in order to cooperate in war against terrorism and Iran has been profiting the international aids to let Afghan refugees live in peace in Iran. This is the very common challenge that Afghan government will face in the future that along maintaining peaceful political, educational and cultural relations with these two neighbors; they should be obliged to cooperate with Afghanistan in real sense to establish peace in the region.
Afghanistan is being sacrificed for no reason other than its geographical location. Afghanistan is landlocked region situated in the center of Asia. It has border with China, Pakistan, Turkmanistan, Uzbakistan, Iran and Tajikistan. The geographical location of this country has turned it to a race ground of the superpowers such as America, Russia, England, Iran, India, and Pakistan. Additionally, Afghanistan is adjacent to Middle Eastern countries that are rich in oil and natural gas. It borders both Iran and Turkmenistan, countries with the second and third largest natural gas reserves in the world. Showing sympathy with Afghanistan does not mean that the superpowers care about Afghanistan. In fact, they care about their own interests by having the control over this region means closely monitoring the natural gas and oil.
The long term strategic agreement between America and Afghanistan is considered to have influence on the regional countries; such as China, China, Russia and Pakistan. The strategic agreement will limit the interferences of the neighboring and neither of them is willingto cutoff their roles in internal affairs of Afghanistan. In order to maintain a peaceful relationship, Afghan government has got no option rather than playing a double role of calling them friends and brothers.
As our political analysts have urged the international community many times that war against terrorism in Afghanistan will not lead the internationalalliances towards satisfactory results, because the bases of terrorists are out of Afghanistan, they are better advised to target the base of terrorists rather than Afghanistan. But if we deeply analyze the policies behind the screen, this is not war against terrorism; in fact, this is a rivalry of having control over the natural resources such as gas and Uranium which are hosted in the region.
The only solution to seal the post 2014 chapter successfully is to define clear relationship and strategies with the neighboring countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Iran and Russia in terms of peace in the region. Otherwise the fear of civil war after the 2014 will turn to reality. The political leaders, writers, and public are advised to accept each other as brothers instead of abusing each others' racial, ethnic, sectarian, and cultural values. Unless we come to this conclusion we will never be able to deal with our neighboring countries according to our will orcriteria. We will have to bear another bloodshedand an era of darkness, as we have been tolerating for decades.