Towards defeating a common enemy

The forthcoming regional ministerial conference on Afghanistan called “Heart of Asia” meet of 26 representatives of neighbouring countries is scheduled to be held on December 7 and 8 in Islamabad.

It will be significant on various counts as it will be the first broad-based conglomeration of all stakeholders of the area around Afghanistan. They include India, China, Russia, Iran, UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan besides the remaining countries of the expanded neighbourhood. The meeting comes after the recent withdrawal of the US forces fighting the Talibani terrorists and others, particularly since the macabre 9/11.

The conference will discuss the rising significance of Asia in global affairs as global geo-politics is said to be moving towards the east. Hence, it will be of considerable importance with a view to contain terrorism in Afg-hanistan and Asia and also the world. It will be watched with interest as it may address core issues pertaining to the reconstruction of Afghanistan which had become the unfortunate focus of the US’ long bomb-shell-ing and drone attacks during the ‘global war on terror’ after 9/11.  
The terror attack (the 9/11) on America had shattered the myth of ‘invincible America’ and that extremely perplexed President George Bush Jr to strike heavily on the accused Al-Qaeda terror network supposed to be hidden in the rugged mountainous terrains of Afghanistan and adjoining Pakistan.

He launched the global war against terrorism under the US leadership, called “Operation Desert storm” and “Enduring freedom” to eliminate the terror organisations because it was the first realisation by the US that terrorists are not only the “enemy number one” of America but also the worst ever enemies of the whole humanity.

After the initial success against terror, the resultant situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan deteriorated of late due to Taliban regaining their positions in Afghanistan and also due to spurt of terror activities inside Pakistan. This became so because the Pakistan’s “ruling trio”- the government, its secret agency ISI and hardline mullahs - had already been hobnobbing with several terror networks including the Al-Qaeda, in its sole mission to export cross-border terrorism to India.

But these terrorists soon went out of Pakistan’s control due to their inherent recourse to violence and fanaticism thereby destabilising the country, in order to establish their supremacy. Thus, Pakistan failed to ensure its both ends meet because it was unable to come out of the dilemma of ostensibly supporting the US-led war against terrorism and providing shelter to various terror groups. Obviously, this Pakistani dilemma enraged both of them and they lost faith in Islamabad’s ruling establishment. Hence, both of them took their turns to become more and more violent.

Unfortunately, the US-led war on terror converted into the sole US war against terrorism and that aggravated the problem of terror due to its meddlesomeness.

Amidst the continuing turmoil, the sudden rise of “Arab Spring” in the Arab world emboldened the terrorists who actively collaborated with the strong revolutionary groups in these countries. As a reaction, the US became more and more ruthless in its approach relying heavily on military solution, instead of political solution.

American withdrawal

Hence, it deployed majority of its armed forces in Afghanistan to wipe out terrorism but it could not produce the desired result and it had to withdraw them last year.
To weaken the Talibans, the US tried to drive a wedge between them by courting with ‘good Taliban’ against the bad one which failed and questioned the credibility of American intentions against terrorism. Earlier, America faltered by turning a blind eye over the proven facts of Pakistan’s involvement in supporting terrorism in several acts of ghastly terror in India and Afghanistan.

This too encouraged the terrorists to intensify their activities all around the world. Thus, Washington got entangled in to its own dilemma and had to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan. Although the American troop withdrawal was expected to create a grave danger of political vacuum in Kabul, the new leadership in the country has, so far, managed to sustain itself as a responsible state.

Unfortunately, the US hegemony prevailed in Afghanistan, thereby sparking the worst dissent against America in the region, and no lasting solution could be worked out because all regional actors were sidelined and Washington’s persistence with war reigned supreme over ‘talks’. Now, there is a new government in Kabul and Islamabad can be easily tamed by the firm determination of the US.

And, with the consensus of all participating powers, a common formula for eliminating terrorism from Afghanistan and also from the region can be satisfactorily found.
Though there are certain hardships in this process due to persisting acrimony between many of the participating nations in the conference like India-Pakistan, Saudi Arabia - Iran, Russia-China etc, defeating a common enemy of humanity as terrorism is now the primary duty of the whole world.

Hence, an agreeable solution against terrorism can be reason-ably evolved. Finally, it will disc-ourage terrorism and their global perpetrators who will have to mend their ways in the interest of humanity because nothing is beyond human endeavour.
(The writer is Associate Professor, MDPG College, Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh)

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