Who will be Embarrassed?


Have the Taliban formally laid the foundation stone of the Sharia model or Afghanistan is going to face a new phase of turmoil and crises? Will commitment and practical application of Sharia law in Afghanistan jolt and challenge Imran Khan for his forgotten electoral slogan of establishing Riasat-e-Madina?
Despite repeatedly chanting the slogan of Nizam e Mustafa, General Zia ul Haq didn’t enforce Nizam e Mustafa during his eleven years’ rule. But now even after three years of Imran Khan’s rule, Riasat-e-Madina has not yet been established in Pakistan. Informally, the Afghan Taliban, right from the day of the fall of Kabul, enforced Sharia law; setting the precedent of announcing amnesty. The Taliban has categorically announced that amnesty will benefit their worst enemies. Internally Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah, Hikmatyar, Ashraf Ghani, Ahmad Masood, Amarullah Saleh and Rasheed Dostum like people are political opponents of the Taliban. Unlike the past, the Taliban’s main rivals are ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
Being more brutal, the Haqqani network has links with ISIS. In fact, there has been a tactical and strategic convergence between ISIS and the Haqqanis, if not the entirety of the Taliban. The major fear across the international community is of consolidation of power of all the terrorist groups under the umbrella of the Taliban and the space that it may provide.
After the announcement of amnesty, Iran-model Taliban Cabinet has taken an oath. The Taliban have pledged a strict implementation of Sharia rule. The Afghan Taliban have announced a new interim government, led by hardliners, which includes no women, minorities or opposition members. The Afghan government rolled out recently includes a constellation of hardliners in the Taliban leadership. In a controversial appointment, Sirajuddin Haqqani has become interior minister and is in charge of police and security. Haqqani is on the FBI’s most-wanted list and designated a global terrorist as leader of the Haqqani network, known to have links with al-Qaeda. The FBI has a multi-million-dollar bounty on Haqqani for acts of terrorism against US troops and civilians. The Haqqani network is known as the most brutal faction of the Taliban. During the years since the US invasion, Haqqani has deployed violent tactics as a deputy to the Afghan Taliban, including the use of death squads for executions and releasing videos of mass beheadings. Taliban leader Zabeh Ullah Mujahid declares Sirajuddin Haqqani a part of Taliban.
The Taliban’s announcement of the cabinet shows that an inclusive government means the inclusion of representatives of different communities of Afghanistan from within themselves. This move of the Taliban has put probable Western financial aid at risk and won’t bode well for those who wanted to see Afghanistan get rid of terrorist activity. The global jihadi movement will feel emboldened by what they see in Afghanistan as a triumph.
The Afghans are going to have several members of the Haqqani network, which has been implicated in some of the most mass casualty horrific terrorist attacks in Afghanistan over the years. Several of these leaders have obtained top slots, including the interior ministry. The world has seen the momentum with which the Taliban have taken over control of Afghanistan, making stunning territorial gains during July and August as the US withdrew troops to end its two-decades-long war. The Taliban are comprised of several factions, each with its leadership, structure, and control of Afghan territory.
The Taliban are not known for trying to deny space to their militant partners in the country, except for ISIS, their rival. Some Taliban leaders say that they will be more conciliatory now than in the past and will abide by certain international norms. The Taliban themselves are not a monolith. They are composed of numerous factions with varying degrees of extremism and propensity to support other extremist groups.
At this stage, Afghan imports and exports at this stage are at zero level. Because of the cold response of the international community, the humanitarian crisis may cause serious crises in Afghanistan. Recently, China and Russia have shown cold gestures towards Taliban leadership and most likely both will not acknowledge the Afghan Taliban government immediately. India, Israel and Russia are playing another game. India has convinced Russia that the Taliban will export extremism to Central Asia very soon. China and Pakistan think that the Afghan Taliban will not influence ETIM and TTP respectively to stop their terrorist attacks. During the last couple of months, TTP has increased its terrorist attacks in Pakistan. Pak- Afghan Taliban romance seems to end within few weeks or maximum months. On the other side, Ahmad Masood, Amarullah Saleh and Rasheed Dostum will continue the reckoning peace of Afghanistan. Former Iranian President Mehmud Ahmadinejad, in an interview to an Indian tv channel, has threatened Pakistan over its role played against Ahmad Masood and Amarullah Saleh militia in Panjsher.
If the prevailing situation continues, the Afghan economy will be overwhelmingly dependent on foreign aid in the days to come. In such crises, how will Sharia model Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan survive? Will the anti-Afghan Taliban lobbies not come out for countrywide protests and fuel the crises? Ultimately, the Taliban will be forced to request the same US and the West for rescue against whom they have been fighting for two decades in Afghanistan. After quitting Afghanistan, the US and NATO are embarrassed, but now if the same Taliban start asking the US and West to rescue them, will it not be far embarrassing? Very tactfully, the US negotiated with the Afghan Taliban in Qatar and now after quitting Afghanistan, the same US has imposed sanctions on Afghanistan and refused to acknowledge the Taliban government. For the Taliban, fighting against the US and NATO in the mountains of Afghanistan for two decades might have been easier than running the affairs of the government without their support. Failed Taliban government will create a civil war-like situation in the country while a successful Taliban regime will encourage militancy in the entire region. Unnecessary, Pakistan has started requesting the international community for the acknowledgement of the Afghan Taliban government. The rest of the world will never listen to Pakistan as always. The world knows what to do. Pakistan wishes to see a successful Taliban government. However, a troubled Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and China suites the US. A stable Taliban government will guarantee a successful Riasat-e-Madina model in Afghanistan. With far better conditions and a team of experts does Imran Khan have any justification for not establishing the Riasat-e-Madina model in Pakistan?