Afghanistan Crisis: Why is the world confused on the question of ‘recognition’ of Taliban?

maha siddiqui
New Delhi.
Before becoming the President of America, Donald Trump considered the ongoing war in Afghanistan to be completely useless. During the 2016 presidential election, his campaign promised that American troops would return and American money would not be wasted in Afghanistan. A year before the next election in 2020, his administration stepped up efforts. As a result, the US started direct talks with the Taliban. The US not only initiated direct talks with the Taliban’s political leadership in Doha, but also kept the Afghan government led by then-President Ashraf Ghani out of it at crucial junctures.

Speaking to CNN-News18 after the Taliban occupation of Kabul, Ashraf Ghani’s brother Hashmat Ghani made a similar allegation. He said, ‘We have always been fighting other people’s battles and Afghans were fighting amongst themselves. Trump made a deal directly with the Taliban, sidelined the government and now he wants the Afghans to fight among themselves.

Many believe that the US deal was the first step towards legitimizing the Taliban. On 29 February 2020, the US and the Taliban signed the Doha Agreement, although the US ‘did not recognize’ the Taliban in its agreement.

If America had made the agreement…
In July this year when Indian officials began to admit they were trying to get in touch with the Taliban’s top political leadership in Doha, CNN-News18 asked a source if there was ever a concern that Will they be given legitimacy on talks with the Taliban? Then he said that if America had made an effective agreement with him, then the question of legitimacy would not have arisen.

On the other hand, China has open talks with the Taliban leadership. China released a photo and statement of Wang Yi meeting Taliban political leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar while the Taliban were fighting the elected Ghani government and the Afghan army. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said after the meeting that, ‘Afghanistan belongs to the Afghan people, and its future should be in the hands of their own people.’ “The Afghan people now have an important opportunity to achieve national stability and development,” China said. The statement, on 28 July, came a week before the Taliban toppled the Ghani government. China had already indicated through its statement that they consider the Taliban legitimate.

The embassies of China and Russia remain open
China was also one of a handful of countries that kept its embassy open in Kabul. The Russian embassy is also open in Kabul and they are also negotiating with the Taliban. The Russian envoy in Kabul met with the Taliban after the Taliban occupation of the capital and described the meeting as a “friendship”. Roman Babushkin, deputy chief of the Russian mission in India, pointed out the difference between working with and recognizing the Taliban. He said that if the Taliban is to be recognized, “the first step must be a consensus in the UN Security Council.”

During the first Taliban government in 1996, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia recognized the previous Taliban regime, despite confusion over the issue at the United Nations. Meanwhile, after legitimizing the Taliban, the question of recognition has also been raised by the US. In an interview with CNN’s Jake Topper, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: ‘A future Afghan government that upholds the basic rights of its people, does not harbor terrorists, is a government we can work with and recognize. .’ So when Indian Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal met Taliban political leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai in Doha on Tuesday, the government immediately released details of the meeting.

However, sources said this should in no way be seen as India’s recognition of the Taliban. When CNN News-18 asked Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi why the Taliban sought a meeting with the Indian ambassador in Doha, he said he did not want to speculate. He further said that it is believed that the Afghan group is reaching out to countries that are interested in this area. Perhaps there is another reason why the Taliban is also seeking greater legitimacy.

Diplomats and political leaders of different countries are making special use of the same sentence that – ‘We will see the work of Taliban, not their claims.’ wants. But almost all countries are in wait and watch mode. Can the words currently being used – ‘working together, legitimacy and recognition’ – put pressure on the Taliban?

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