Afghanistan: a Phoenix searching for reconciliation

A Phoenix searching for reconciliation…like the Blue Mosque: “when we look at the mosque, the structure appears to be floating, a trick of Islamic architecture….” That is the current situation after the foreign withdrawal of military troops: a “floating political structure” that is claiming stability. After decades of foreign military presence, finally, Afghanistan is gaining sovereignty, although not stability. The role of the so-called “rebels” is it now about creating a reconciliation atmosphere. The more they advance in terms of territory, the more responsibility they hold towards Afghan civilians. The methods implemented by the Taliban so far, do not have any room under the current circumstances and short-term goals towards institutional strength.

Paradoxically, to regain sovereignty they need support from external actors, within the lessons learned from America´s presence, although with a deep sense of a global context and healthy interdependence. (Also marked by the pandemics).

Russia and Iran seem to be the best actors to contribute to the post-war reconstruction process: both are foreign, strongly committed to building stability in the region, and free from skepticism.

The threat of discriminatory attacks to civilians seems to be part of an obscure past since the commitment taken by Spokerson Mr. Suhail Shaheen: “ Afghans who worked for foreign forces will be safe”

“The Taliban does not want to engage in fighting inside Afghanistan’s cities” this is a key aspect for building peace and the correct attitude towards successful outputs at Doha talks. War always forces to surrender and goals from both sides in the conflict will never be fully achieved, but certainly, it helps on the road to get into minimum standards and alignment to SDGs to become finally stable.

It would be a true failure for the Taliban if gaining power supposes destruction of cities and the own society fabric, instead of the recognition of those positive steps done to move forward and bring Afghanistan back to a global scenario. Currently, it looks more like a scenario of chaos furthered by American toxic military presence but also for the wrong doing of Taliban that on the search for the so called “Islamic State” they have forgotten their people and the imperative to respect freedom above religions and traditions.

There is no room for Islamic or Christian goals without the full insertion into a global and sustainable agenda. Making this war, at this promising stage, a religious war is not only absurd but also the seed to more confrontation and the erosion of confidence and respect. “Doha talks” is a place to start building a Middle East action against violence -rather than reducing to an Afghanistan conflict-, time to leave aside religions, and be certain of what is regional interests and foreign interests. There are no excuses as in the past. Time for empowerment is also time to grow and make the peace process the true battle to fight. 

“Estimates suggest as many as 1 million Afghans will pour over the border to avoid the fighting or Taliban rule”. Is in the Taliban´s hands to prevent this exodus that has no room in a democratic society. No matter the ideology, religion, or traditions, anyone should be forced to flee their countries because of steady violence against civilians.

The challenge is it about a strong swift of mindset from Taliban not to see themselves as victims or/and fighting “against all odds”, but to a conscious negotiation as empowered actors fighting for recovering peace, printing with trust their citizens and commitment to Global Goals within a robust emphasis on stability.

 Is it very important not just the political will of negotiation from Taliban but their marketing resources to make them reliable and effective as drivers to positive and updated change.  Delivering trust in a chaotic scenario of ethnic minorities, power vacuum within the Taliban, disempowered Government without military foreign forces, a vulnerable population devoid of citizenship´s Human Rights, collapsed infrastructures, and the own social fractures generated by a long war. A society that is not claiming for political agendas, but from balance and minimum standards for living 

Recovering the precious treasure of Afghan people and their cities, a Phoenix that needs to rest beyond religions but with the empowerment that delivers trusting in political leaders that make the decision-making process an exercise of reconciliation. 

Alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals is not only the road to move on but also the way to attract foreign aid –and political support- and to be integrated with the rest of the planet and its new challenges. A country that has been deeply hit by the war will not recover without help, “win the war” is just one part of a long way that starts now with Doha talks although will need the global community as a partner in the following decades. Is it key to understand that foreign military presence and influence on the Government is not the same as “flying independently” without external support –regional and globally-. The level of instability that any war delivers makes up an entire country and both sides of the conflict are simply one. 

Leaving aside differences by symbolically praying in the same Mosque. 

Let s hope for a “blue future” for the Afghan people.

Peace.

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