The Taliban Regime will not be recognized any time soon

There are no proposals or possibilities for the Taliban government in Afghanistan to be acknowledged any time soon. According to discussions with a Modern Diplomacy Political Scientist Georgi Asatryan, not a single regional power intends to give the Taliban legitimacy and recognition. 

Political Scientist believes that the last year has been unsuccessful for the Taliban regime in terms of diplomacy and their political part in the region. Against all odds, Pakistan, Russia and China have the most positive attitude towards the Taliban. Firstly, despite all the attempts to run PR in the world media and social networks in the west and east, the Taliban failed to improve their image. At the same time, regional Powers and international organizations (iOS)continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the Afghan population. 

The international community, influential iOS, and the UN have not changed their attitude towards this radical Islamist movement. The Taliban have not managed to take off many of their representatives from the UN sanctions list of terrorists. They were unable to open the financial doors for Afghanistan in Western banks. Second, the Taliban continue to be viewed as a threat to regional stability and a potential exporter of radical Islamist ideology and terrorism by regional powers, particularly India, Iran, and many Central Asian nations. The process does not produce the desired results, despite the desire of regional forces to comprehend and accept the Taliban as it is. The Taliban are perceived negatively by regional forces due to Afghanistan’s failure to combat terrorist organizations, the tightening of the regime, and human rights violations. They appear to be adamant that the Taliban won’t ever change. 

The confrontation between the Taliban and the Pakistani military’s allies has intensified recently. The main impediment to a resolution is regarded as Pakistan’s overtly harmful and destructive policy. Islamabad is unable to fully exert authority on its friends, though. Moreover, the policy of strategic depth developed by the Pakistani military and ISI strategists to create full support and advice for the Taliban is, in fact, suicidal. In January, a monstrous terrorist attack occurred in a mosque in Peshawar, killing more than 90 people. A group allied with the Taliban in Pakistan claimed responsibility. 

Without applying pressure to Islamabad, it will be difficult to stabilize and restructure the Taliban into a more responsible and modern army. It was challenging for US politicians and the military to persuade the Pakistani government to collaborate even after the deadliest terrorist strikes in history and at the start of the counterterrorism effort. Pervez Musharraf, the military dictator, feared confronting Pakistan’s Islamist circles and lacked the desire to do so. As a result, throughout the Afghan war and despite enormous pressure from the United States and the West, the Pakistani military en masse supported and advised the Taliban covertly. It was on Pakistani territory that they found shelter and returned to power 20 years later.

Consequently, there is no need to talk about recognizing the Taliban regime in the foreseeable future. The international community and influential forces will continue to demand reforms and “liberalization” of the political regime from the Taliban. Eliminating the threat of terrorism from being exported is the major objective in the Afghan situation. The second goal is to try to change Afghanistan’s political structure so that it is more conventional. Sadly, it must be acknowledged that discussing liberalization or using modernization theory in this context is not relevant. 

Georgi Asatrian
Georgi Asatrian
Georgi Asatryan, associate professor, Lomonosov Moscow State University and Plekhanov Russian University of Economics.