Challenges ahead for New Afghan Government

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WASEEM SHABBIR
The unplanned and hurried US withdrawal from Afghan soil descending the country into unrest has provided Taliban with an opportunity to take over Kabul and immediately announce their interim government has flabbergasted the whole world. The US terrible defeat in its two decades long war at the hands of the Taliban confirmes them to be the invincible fighters and real victorious. The Taliban’s unflinching armed resistance in the face of US for last twenty years has finally proved Afghanistan to be the graveyard of empire for this superpower as well. However, there is no guarantee that a party best at fight can also be best in running a state. Governing a state is indubitably a daunting task that requires complete consciousness and expertise about politics, diplomacy, administration, and variable choices in formulation of foreign policies. The Taliban being conservative and radical fully acquainted with the art of war are not that much expert, strategist, skilled and experienced in steering a newly formed government. Therefore, the establishment of new regime by the Taliban is set to face myriads of impending challenges. Apprehensions loom large that Taliban government may not be recognised by international community due to not honouring to their commitments. Forming a new cabinet which is entirely based on male members ignoring representation by women and minorities is a stark deviation from a broad based and Inclusive government for which Taliban had promised. Inclusion of hardliners into cabinet, who have remained indulged in deadliest terrorist attacks may offend global powers. Taliban have inexpediently declared Mullah Sirajuddin Haqqani as interior minister who is not acceptable for US. American government views him to be a global terrorist who was involved in orchestrating attacks against US and coalition forces. Such controversial moves by Taliban are attracting antagonism from US and European Union that may become a hindrance to the international recognition of this new regime. However, Pakistan, Russia, China and Iran seem ready to legitimise Afgan new government in return for assurances from Talibans to never let Afghan soil be used by insurgents and terrorists against them. Incorporating and adjusting Afghan Army and Police Force is also a challenging task for Taliban to tackle. This new regime has to sustain their services by making them the part of current Government machinery. If the two aforementioned tiers are ignored and their salaries are stopped, they may fall a prey to anti-Taliban insurgent groups that would be the most dreadful situation for Taliban. Therefore, Taliban should handle this serious issue mindfully before Afghan Army and Police are allied with non state actors leading to a renewed disastrous civil war. On economic front, Afghanistan has suffered a major setback in the past couple of months and its currency has been depreciated significantly due to obstruction in flow of foreign aid to Afghanistan. International reserves of approximately $9.4 billion worth have been frozen by US in Afghanistan. IMF has also suspended more than $400 million in emergency reserves after the Taliban’s resurgence to power. European Union has also halted its plans to disburse about $1.4 billion as aid to to Afghanistan by 2025. Moreover, Germany was going to announce development aid of $503 million to Afghanistan which it abruptly suspended seeing the Taliban in power. The Taliban will have to fix the dwindling economy by ensuring funds flow into the country to escape from further economic regression. The unbridled economic crisis further begets another crisis of food shortage and insecurity. According to the reports of “World Food Programme” 14 million of Afghans are expected to be forced to starvation if Afghanistan is not provided with financial assistance and food aid. Rein Paulsen, Director of the “food and Agriculture Organization” tells reporters that 4 million Afghans are already under food emergency and 7.3 million Afghans are severally affected by drought in rural areas. Under such adverse circumstances and rising inflation, people are forced to sell their possessions at Impromptu markets to make both ends meet. To avert this economic and food crisis, Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphaticated the world to engage with Afghan new government and provide them with humanitarian assistance in this high time. However, China has announced $31 million aid package for Afghanistan including food supplies and coronavirus vaccines.ISIS Khusran Chapter is another gigantic challenge for Taliban government to repel. This lethal terrorist group comprising more than 5000 fighters emerged in 2015 from the disgruntled members of both Taliban and Al-Qaida in Afghanistan. ISIS-K had acquired control of larger part of astern Afghanistan in 2016, debilitating Taliban’s position in those areas; therefore, this faction will keep posting threats to Taliban even After they are in power. After few days of Kabul Takeover, horrific bombings at Kabul airport were done by ISIS-K claiming no fewer than 177 casualties. The new government should not underestimate the deep rooted ramifications of this militant outfit rather it should be focused to dismantle ISIS-K for the smooth functioning of their There are also equal chances of the eruption of internal rivalries and sectarian violence among varying enthic groups and warlords that can push the country to civil war. Hence, integrating these multi ethnicities into a national stream is a challenging task for Taliban. The new government needs to reconcile with all these existing factions by including them into Government is only the way forward to warding off any impending rivalry that could be disaster for this new regime. Last but not least the Braindrain is however another big challenge for current Afghan government. The terror stricken Afghanistan Under precarious and turbulent situation is pushing educated people to leave the country which is certainly a great loss for Taliban regime. In an attempt to secure life, movement of people including IT experts, policy analysts, administrators, educated and experienced people from Afghanistan to other countries means Taliban will simply have less hands to run their government machinery.To overcome all aforementioned challenges, Taliban have to be moderate and gentle from being the hardliners in their treatment to others. They need to endorse to their commitments and covenants in order to attain world recognition. They should also respect human rights especially those of women in order to acquire soft image of their government. They must not allow Afghan soil to be used by terrorists; it will help them earn international favour. Taliban must ensure provision of food to starving people. Finally, fixing the dwindling economy is the need of this high time for Taliban so that an impeding humanitarian crisis can be prevented.