The Financial Express

Moment of truth arrives for Afghans

| Updated: August 17, 2021 23:12:42

Moment of truth arrives for Afghans

The Taliban forces have entered Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. So, it is a matter of time how and when the Taliban is going to take charge of the country. And with this latest development, the Kabul-ward flow of people fleeing the provincial capitals falling to the Taliban has stopped. Now, the direction of the flight has reversed. The global media have been showing the chaos and confusion among the Afghan people as one provincial capital after another had been collapsing before the advancing Taliban forces. But was this fear and chaos unanticipated? For the Western world knew what was coming since mid-April when US president Joe Biden let the world know about his plan to withdraw all US troops along with those of his coalition partners from Afghanistan before September 11, 2021. And in that speech, he also made it clear that he was sticking to the peace deal reached with the Taliban by his predecessor Donald Trump in February 2020. And the way the US and the allied forces were flown out of Afghanistan was not in line with any tripartite treaty among the US, the Kabul government and the Taliban as there was none. Since there is nothing in that deal about how the power will be shared between the incumbent government of Kabul and the Taliban, the fallout of the withdrawal of US troops was plain as day. And the responsibility for Kabul government's lack of representation in the US-Taliban treaty, in large measure, goes to those at the helm in Kabul. They were never serious, nor sincere, about sitting with the Taliban. And, that is only expected of a  bunch of corrupt-to-the-marrow, self-serving people chosen by their foreign mentor to run a fractious, war-torn nation.

So, there is no reason to be surprised or shocked that all the provincial headquarters and now Kabul itself have fallen like dominoes before Taliban onslaught. There is also no room for the delusion that the said provinces were really ever under Kabul's control before this final Taliban push. In truth, the Taliban have so far been waiting outside the provincial headquarters for the opportune moment to come.

The time has now arrived as the US and its coalition partners have started the final phase of evacuating their remaining forces, their nationals and diplomats including some of their Afghan loyalists from the besieged capital.  But then why is the fear, chaos and confusion among the Afghans who trusted the government so far?

The reason is the inept and power-hungry government leaders in Kabul have all along kept the Afghan people in the dark about the reality on the ground. On the contrary, they gave them the impression that everything was fine and reassured them that they would be protected by the government under any circumstances. Even when the Taliban troops were at Char Asyab district, only 7 miles South of Kabul on Saturday, Ashraf Ghani, then beleaguered president in his pre-recorded address to the Afghan people still went on saying, 'As a historic mission, I will not let the imposed war on people cause more deaths' and that 'the remobilisation of our security and defence forces is our top priority'. What would the Afghans who supported the government in Kabul make of Ashraf Ghani's final address to the nation? If some of them even had the time to pay any attention to his speech, they might be expecting to  hear him announce his resignation as president. But he has not done this. Rather he has done what a coward is supposed to do-he has fled the country, rumoured to be to Tajikistan. 

Now the moment of truth has come for the Afghans who believed in those holding power in Kabul and their foreign patrons. 


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