Taliban should engage with the World

The stabilization of Afghanistan relies on the ability of the Taliban leadership to engage with the International Community and implement its demands. But some factors do not prevent elite groups within the radical movement from reaching a consensus and implementing the “strategy” of international mediators. At the same time, threats from international terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan remain. Confidence building is critical in this regard. Inside the country, there should be tremendous steps to counter terrorism. Another danger is decreased interest in the Afghan problem and underestimating potential threats.

Elizabeth Horst, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Pakistan Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs and First Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, expressed that Al-Qaeda is not a danger to the United States from Afghanistan. “I am stating that I don’t think that Afghanistan is a threat—al-Qaeda can pose a threat to the United States from Afghanistan, and when it does, as we saw an example from al-Zawahiri, we are willing to go in and unilaterally take care of that threat,” Horst stated.

However, integrating the Taliban with the international community is not going smoothly and with varying success. Several factors hinder this process. Firstly, radicalism and ideology within some Taliban elite groups. Secondly, the pressure of the most conservative elite circles within the military elite of Pakistan. If we talk about the first factor, then the power union of the Taliban’s unrecognized government does not seek integration with international structures. This elite union consists of the heads of law enforcement agencies, the leaders of the pro-Pakistan radical organization of the Haqqani Network, and the top leadership in Kandahar.

The more moderate wing is concentrated in Kabul and accumulates with leaders included in international diplomatic negotiations. Now we can talk about a certain balance among the Taliban elite groups. However, the trend seems to be leaning toward the most conservative groups. An important factor here is the support of the Pakistani military, which wants to maintain privileged control over the Taliban and Afghanistan as a whole. Islamabad and the military in Rawalpindi do not benefit from integrating the Taliban into the international community. It will lead to a decrease in their influence on the radical organization and its relative modernization.

In addition, there is a somewhat tangible confrontation between the Taliban and the few but highly radical militants of the IS-Khorasan. So, according to the latest data, in mid-July, there were battles in the vicinity of Kabul. As a result, the Taliban killed several IS-Khorasan militants.

In the way of this process, the issue of the adoption of a new constitution of Afghanistan is essential, which should de jure consolidate the legal basis of the Taliban state. The basic necessity of any modern government is the existence of a constitution. In the modern world, no government can work without this condition. However, today Afghanistan exists without a higher law. The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, which was formed under former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was canceled by a statement of the supreme leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, at a meeting with the provincial governors, after the victory of the Taliban, and the new one has not yet been adopted. The issue of this document is one of the essential requirements of international mediators. The international community also demands to legalize the existence of other parties that will completely participate in the political process in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Taliban still have not reached a consensus on this issue. There are contradictory statements: some elite groups are against it, and others favor creating and adopting a new legislative framework.

However, the Taliban claim that regarding the issue of political parties, under today’s circumstances, there is no need for parties to function. According to the representative of the Ministry of Justice, Afghanistan does not need a constitution, and the country can resolve issues according to Islamic law. At a press conference, the Deputy Minister of Justice, Abdul Karim Haider, expressed that the Hanafi school serves as the basis for solving problems. “The Holy Quran, the Sunnah of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and the judicial practice of every Islamic country are the basis and text of the constitution in general and in detail,” Haidar said.

Regarding the work carried out by women in Afghanistan, Haidar noted that all women will be provided with all rights under Islamic law. The Islamic Emirate will grant women the rights Islam has given them when conditions are favorable,” Haider said. The Ministry is ready to prepare a constitution under Islamic law at the request of the Prime Minister. “We are waiting for instructions from Amirul Mumininwhen he directs the creation of the law. The Hanafi legal system, the Quran, and the Sunnah of Muhammad are its sources, so we are confident that a comprehensive law will be quickly adopted to solve everyone’s problems,” Haidar expressed.

At the same time, the press secretary of the Islamic Emirate, Zabihullah Mujahid, stated that work on forming a new constitution is in progress. “Work on the Constitution continues. The Constitution forms the basis of the government’s legislation. Our laws are formed based on the constitution,” Mujahid said. The politicians expressed their opinion about the high necessity of the constitution and called on the Islamic Emirate to actively resolve the issue.

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