‘The exodus from Kabul in the shameful video means some people have what to fear’

There has been a power shift in Afghanistan — why can it be dangerous or is it beneficial for our country?

‘The exodus from Kabul in the shameful video means some people have what to fear’
Photo: AFP

The Taliban terrorist organisation, which is banned in Russia, recently declared it seized Kabul and now Afghanistan is totally under its control, the civil war in the country is over. Russia needs a peaceful neighbour, experts surveyed by Realnoe Vremya think. They indicate that the Taliban has never transcended the homeland’s borders in its actions.

Peaceful time, full airport

The Taliban’s assault, which started in May, has ended in the country with the seizure of Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital*. The airport, which isn’t yet controlled by the new power, remains full with people wishing to leave the country. Even a video of several desperate people holding the undercarriage of a plane during a take-off fall from a height appeared on the Internet.

The new authorities are taking away civilians’ weapons. Markets are operating calmly. Also, Taliban official spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid insistently demanded insurgents to prevent looting. At the same time, messages about several people, including a local female journalist, missing appeared on the Net.

Kabul was the last city to be under the government’s control just on Sunday. A day earlier, the Taliban had entered Mazari Sharif, Jalalabad fell on 15 August morning. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. The new authorities have already announced the plans for recreating the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

“Look, all these administrative capitals were seized peacefully, without a single shot, which causes our satisfaction,” claimed the Russian president’s special representative, head of the Second Asian Department of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zamir Kabulov.

At the same time, Kabulov claimed that Russia won’t rush to recognise the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Russia’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov told journalists that there weren’t any threats to employees of the embassy, while he was going to meet with representatives of the Taliban to talk about the safety of the embassy’s activity.

“The Taliban that have now seized Kabul will stress the peaceful character of their regime. Relations will have to be established with them,” Chairman of the programme Religion, Society and Security at Carnegie Moscow Center Alexey Malashenko told Realnoe Vremya. “As for Russia, I think we did the right thing. It is a good sign that the Russian embassy wasn’t evacuated and the employees’ safety was guaranteed by the Taliban themselves. Russia’s role has somehow increased. I think it is going to be fine at the moment. The Taliban that have now seized Kabul are interested in financial assistance. A delegation’s arrival can be expected. The situation is changing, I think it will stay until New Year.”

“Prospects of peaceful construction are opening for Afghanistan”

“The fight of the Afghan people against foreign occupation ended at this stage with quite a serious win,” expert in problems of ethnic, cultural and religious politics, journalist Maxim Shevchenko clearly claims. “Prospects of peaceful construction are opening for Afghanistan. All insinuations about the Taliban as terrorists have no point: they haven’t committed any terrorist attacks outside the country, while during the civil war inside the country they opposed occupants, that’s to say, they did what any people do when protecting their homeland.”

Shevchenko notes that the new authorities immediately announced that a peaceful Afghanistan was their goal. The journalist himself has been in this country several times, particularly with the late Geydar Dzhemal.

“There is nothing to fear for those who have never committed atrocities. The value of human life is immense. Here, there is a concept of a blood feud. The exodus from Kabul we have seen in the shameful videos means that some people have what to fear for their activity.”

“Russia is interested in a peaceful and friendly Afghanistan,” thinks Shevchenko, therefore he thinks that the meetings with guerrilla warriors earlier are correct. A peaceful Afghanistan is both a fight against drug trafficking and access to the Indian Ocean.”

“Russia can invest in the Taliban, which is Afghanistan now,” says the journalist. “This victory shows that the people doesn’t rely on speculative concepts but the tradition they have lived with for centuries. Like the Soviet people started to rely on Russian, Tatar traditions during the Great Patriotic War, the Afghans rely on the traditions of Pushtuns, Baloch people, Tajiks and Islam. I congratulate the Afghan people on this victory. It is a country of warriors and brave people. The code of family reputation, Islam and Afghanistan are valuable for the Afghans. All this came together in the victory. The Taliban shouldn’t be demonised. They are extraordinary people.”

“World leaders are concerned about the stability in the country, not the order”

Docent of the Department of Regional and Islamic Studies of the Institute of Oriental Studies and International Relations of Kazan Federal University Azat Akhunov thinks that it is easy to make forecasts for Afghanistan because history repeats like a spiral here:

“We see Afghanistan return to its traditional state it was for centuries and is hard to change. The successful ascent of the Taliban would be impossible without the population’s support. Afghanistan is divided into numerous ethnic groups, tribes, though the Pashtuns the Taliban mostly consists of dominate there. The population silently backed them up, except for the Northern Alliance where Uzbeks and Tajiks have always been against Pashtuns. While the main population voted for the Taliban.”

Revolution or a military change in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran are always linked with the activity of religious leaders, reminds us Akhunov, since a mullah or imam for these countries is authority performing the role of local administration.

“Islamic clerics have always claimed they fight for justice, equal rights. And the Taliban announces the same: everybody is equal in front of the law, there shouldn’t be gross inequality. Ordinary people like these slogans, thanks to them, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in Russia, became popular. It has already been claimed in Kabul that Sharia laws will be again in force, that women’s rights will be limited from a perspective of Islam on rights.”

On the other hand, Akhunov notes, Taliban leaders say they are ready to develop the country with the help of foreign specialists and fight the production of hard drugs. This is what the world community that lets the country solve its problems on its own is expecting from them, the expert indicates:

“There was an attempt of Europeanising Afghanistan, making it a secular country. And it was decided to leave it as it is. But it is necessary to conserve the country so that their activity doesn’t cross the border. Russia sticks to such a standpoint. Russia is observing. The fact that we haven’t evacuated our citizens unlike others speaks for itself. The experience of previous years has illustrated the Pashtuns don’t transcend the borders of their territories, they aren’t ready to war in an open space, it is rather wars in a mountainous, cross-country terrain. They can’t conduct big battles. I think the conflict will go on, the fight for power will go on, but on the territory of Afghanistan. While world leaders are concerned about the stability in the country, not the order, it can be an authoritarian regime too. If there is no stability in Afghanistan, a huge wave of refugees awaits Europe.”

*The Taliban are insurgents of a terrorist organisation banned in Russia.

Radif Kashapov