|Keywords (Extracted from title, table of contents and abstract of thesis)
afghanistan, soviet disunion, najibullah, peshawar accord, islamabad accord, resistance movement, pakistan, the united states, china, iran, saudi arabia, civil war, northern alliance, taliban, isi, cia, saudi intelligence, islamic fundamentalism, religious nationalism, geneva accord, six-plus-two talks
Afghanistan is connected with three very important regions of the world –South, West and Central Asia. Therefore, it increases its importance in region and outside the region. Through the Soviet disunion changed the order of international polities; the struggle of power remains the same. Afghanistan is one of the afflicted areas where regional and extra-regional powers are trying to dominate the internal politics, which leads the country towards chaos and anarchy. The premature exit of Najibullah’s regime intensified the problem. The resistance Movement had taken full advantage of the and multi-lingual character of Afghanistan did no permit resistance Movement to take any form and unified stand. Thus, form the beginning, the resistance movement was divided on ethono-lingustic tribal and sectarian lines. Due to these reasons the resistance movement had not able to create any broad –based representative government to replace the Najib’s regime.
The Peshawar and Islamabad Accord did not yield any positive results. Hence, during the period between 1992 to 1996 various Resistance groups were locked in the power struggle, which deepened the crisis. The outside interference in the Afghan turmoil is not new phenomenon. When the Soviet’s deployed troop in Afghanistan, the Resistance Movement carried out guerilla operations with the assistance of Pakistan, The United States, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and several other countries. In this way, the regional and extra-regional power were involved in the afghan crisis. They openly supported their favorites on the basis of sect and ethnic composition. The gap between State and society widened, which led the country towards political chaos. Moreover, the political disunion deepened because 50,000 Afghans were killed in the senseless power struggle in the civil war. In this anarchic situations, a new phenomenon emerged on the Afghan society and state, which is passing through anarchy and senseless power struggle. Ideologically, Taliban has institutionalized religious nationalism, which is an extension of religious fundamentalism. In the Muslim world, they were working side by side on common platform. Both want to radicalize politics and cultural institutions purely on religious lines. The religious nationalism, the has been imported from the Middle East. With the investiture of the religious nationalism, the regional powers are divided, which arte supporting nationalist force (Northern) Alliance (Taliban). Thus, the Afghan crisis spills over to the south and the central Asian regions. The effects of religious nationalism can be seen from Kashmir to Chechenya.
Taliban raised the slogan of Islam as an ideological factor. However, it becomes obvious that Taliban is also propagating Pashtun nationalism with a touch of religion. Afghan Islamism has its own dynamics borrowed from the two mainstream organizations: one from Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and other Pakistan’s Jamaat-I- Islami. Strategically, the close connection with the Middle East was developed in 80’S with the help of Pakistan's ISI, American CIA and Saudi Intelligence. An international network was created, which imported Arab militants to fight along with Afghan militants. These militants brought their own view of Islam and also carrying back home their combat experience in the name of Jihad. These Arab militants have broken the traditional Sufi ideology. They were against all types of enlightenment in the society. The drastic changes in 90's have altered the alignment of these forces. Gulf crisis had radicalized politics in the Muslim world. The radical Islamic groups took hard-line position against the US and its allies. The conservative Middle Eastern states, which were the main supporters of the Islamic groups had changed their policies and withdrew their support. In this scenario, the Taliban factor emerged on the Afghan political scene. Presently, Taliban is trying to project its image as mature regime in the eyes of international community. Though Taliban has provided shelter to Bin Laden, the manner in which they handled the hostage crisis of the Indian aircraft in December 1999 at Kandhar, it has earned admiration from the UN and the other diplomatic circles.
Afghanistan shares borders with Turkmenistan. Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran and Pakistan. Thus, Afghan crisis has a direct impact on Central and South Asian regions. These states have failed to provide any viable option for the solution of the Afghan crisis. Moreover, the political rivalries among regional states have provided fuel to the ongoing civil war in Afghanistan. The direct competition between Pakistan and Iran to capture trade route for Central Asian states do not allow any serious work on this direction.
The small arms proliferation and drug smuggling are also threating the South and Central Asian societies. Presently, there is a clear linkage between opium heroin production and weapons, which are used both to protect the drugs and bring drug profit and become a source of income for various Mujahidden groups. Furthermore, the availability of small arms, accessed through different routes and sources has changed the nature of conflict in South Asia. Whereas Kashmir conflict has escalated, involving India and Pakistan militarily. In this way, the regional actors have failed to maintain peace in Afghanistan. They involved themselves in the internal conflict and thus become the party to the conflict.
A far as the role of extra-regional powers is concerned, they tried to formulate a mechanism for the establishment of a broad-based government. The UN tried to find out a possible solution acceptable for Afghanistan and neighboring countries. From Geneva Accords to the formation of Six-plus-Two group, it failed to achieve its objective. The US focuses on the containment of terrorism and human rights as a part of its global agenda. The U.S wants to implement its policies in Afghanistan. Thus, the only viable option is to have a broad-based government.
The multi-ethnic societies in the developing world have a tendency to disintegrate easily. The process of disintegration spills over to other weak and fragile states. The only viable option for Afghanistan is to form a consensus among the warring factions of the Afghan society through available options prescribed by the UN.