Afghanistan: Taliban’s new government in three days, what will be the challenges?

KABUL: SEPT. 2 – 31 August 2021 has now been recorded as a date never to be forgotten in the history of Afghanistan.

On the one hand, America stuck to this deadline to get its soldiers and people out of Afghanistan. On the other hand, now the Taliban’s efforts to form a new government in Afghanistan have also intensified.

According to reports, the Taliban’s ‘Top Leadership Council’ met for three days in Kandahar. Taliban leader Hibtullah Akhundzada presided over the meeting.

Sher Mohammad Abbas Tastikzai, deputy head of the Taliban’s political office, says the blueprint for a new government with an ‘Islamic emirate’ in Afghanistan will be in front of the world in the next three days.

How the new government will be and who will be involved in it, nothing can be said in a certain way right now, but experts believe that the challenges before the new government will not be less.

15 days have elapsed since the capture of Kabul on 15 August. At present, no solid governance system is restored there. There is a long queue outside the banks. People are troubled by the shortage of essential items of daily living.

Such disorder will be a cause of concern for any government and because of this, the Taliban will also want to remove this disorder spread in Afghanistan as soon as possible.

Taliban internal factionalism

But how will this happen? How easy or how difficult? To know this, BBC spoke to former diplomat Talmiz Ahmed.

He says that the challenges before the Taliban are of two types – the first challenge that will be faced at the time of formation of the government and the second challenge will start after the formation of the new government.

Regarding the first challenge, he says that the thing to be seen is that in the new government, the political faction of the Taliban (Doha faction) gets more power and then the military faction fighting the war.

Experts believe that even within the Taliban, factionalism is not less. By now the Taliban were united, with the intention of driving America out of Afghanistan. But once they have achieved the goal, then their mutual factionalism will also come out.

At present, the most important name in the political leadership of the Taliban is Hebtullah Akhundzada.

Talmiz Ahmed says, “Hibtullah Akhundzada currently holds the position of number one in the Taliban. Not much is known about his leadership ability. People are still not aware of his leadership ability. If he will be the tallest leader of the new government, then it will be considered a government of political leadership It took a long time to make.”

But he also says that when Hebtullah Akhundzada was declared the Taliban’s number one leader, he was seen as a ‘compromised candidate’.

On the other hand, the military commander of the Taliban is Sirajuddin Haqqani. He is ranked number two in the Taliban. This group does not believe much in taking others with them.

The era of the Taliban has been a period of conflict so far. In such a situation, Sirajuddin Haqqani had got more power till now. Now, what responsibility do they get in the new government? Whom do they take with them? This challenge will also come up during the formation of the government.

Where do people with administrative experience come from?

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. At that time, the Taliban had not presented any model of running the government to the world.

Talmiz Ahmed calls that period a ‘state of struggle’.

He believes that the situation today is completely different from the conflict situation of the 90s.

The Taliban will need a different kind of people to run the government. In government, they will need knowledgeable experts, bureaucrats, experienced in running administration, knowledgeable in rules and regulations, a kind of constitution and transparency in administration.

In all this, the people involved in the Taliban have no mastery of any kind. In such a situation, it has to be seen, whose help do they take and from where do such experienced people bring them.

To form a new government in Afghanistan, Taliban leaders are in contact with old people in the government, such as former President Hamid Karzai, the head of Afghanistan’s High Reconciliation Council, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, former Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, peace talks with Taliban insurgents in 2012 Elected representative to Salahuddin Rabbani.

All these people also have administrative experience.

But which of these leaders gets what place in the new government and how much they run in their government – this will also make a lot clear about the new Taliban government and its challenges.

Struggling for international acceptance

Talking about the challenges after the formation of the new government in Afghanistan, Dr Swasti Rao, Professor of International Relations at Aligarh Muslim University, says that the Taliban would like the big countries of the world to recognize their government.

There have certainly been statements of enthusiasm for the Taliban from countries like China, Russia, Pakistan. But so far no one has recognized them. Most countries are waiting to see the first form of his government.

Dr Swasti Rao says, “International acceptance of the new Taliban government is important because foreign funding is now closed. 75% of the Afghan government’s spending depends on this foreign aid. In such a situation, funding from the US and IMF is prevented from stopping.” Running a government can be difficult.”

Talmiz Ahmed connects Dr Swasti Rao’s talk with the economy there.

He says, “Half of Afghanistan’s GDP used to come through foreign aid. Now that foreign aid has completely stopped. Because of this, economic activities there are currently closed. Many people are not getting a salary. Families are becoming victims of starvation. In such a situation, it is very important that the new government, first of all, take some new and bold steps to bring the economy back on track.

The challenge of dealing with opposing factions

After internal conflicts and handling the economy, the third challenge before the Taliban will be to deal with the opposition faction in Afghanistan.

Dr Swasti Rao says, “Northern Alliance has never succumbed easily to the Taliban. Even before this, they were not able to capture Panjshir. The insurgency there cannot be completely put to an end. The Taliban would like How to get rid of this rebellion through talks or by giving them a place in government formation.”

Apart from this, another type of challenge can also come to the Taliban from extremist organizations like ISIS-K and al-Qaeda.

The involvement of ISIS-K in the recent Kabul blast has come to the fore. ISIS-K is known as ‘Islamic State Khorasan Province’ (ISKP).

There are deep differences between the ISIS-K and the Taliban. The ISIS-K alleges that the Taliban have chosen to bargain for peace in the expensive and luxurious hotels of Qatar’s capital Doha, leaving the path of Jihad and Maidan-e-Jung.

In such a situation, how the new Taliban government will deal with them, will be a matter to be seen.

Need for army and police

Since the arrival of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, civil conflict has been going on there for the last 40 years. Because of this, a great ‘Unified Armed Force’ could not be made in Afghanistan. America did make an effort, but when confronted with the Taliban, they could not show any strength and laid down their weapons.

Now in front of the new government of Afghanistan, it will be necessary to create such a force as soon as possible, which is also disciplined and also powerful. This will be the most important step to secure the country’s border.

Especially when the Taliban are roaming around the world promising that they will not allow their land to be used against any country as a bastion of international terrorism.

Similarly, the Taliban regime inside Afghanistan will also need a separate police force for the protection of civilians, which will be helpful in maintaining the governance system within the country.

Police personnel who were part of this force in the previous regime are now absent with the Taliban taking over Kabul. Will those old people come back, how will they come, when will they come – this is also an important question. Talmiz Ahmed also considers this a challenge for the Taliban.

National unity

Apart from this, both the experts are unanimous that the new government in Afghanistan will also need to maintain unity between the majority and the minorities.

There are more Pashtuns in the Taliban and also in Afghanistan. Along with this, people of different religions and sects also live there, whose number is slightly less such as Hazara and Shia, Uzbek and Tajik.

During the previous regime of the Taliban, there were tales of atrocities on minorities. This time it should not be repeated, it will also be seen by the international community.

How will the new government deal with these challenges? This will be watched by the international community.

-BBC (Hindi)