Afghanistan calls for respect, equality and aid from the world

Two and a half years have passed since the Taliban forces took over Kabul, the Capital of Afghanistan. Yet, due to more than four-decades of civil wars, foreign invasions and multi-national military occupation, the country has been devastated and weaken in an overall sense. Accordingly, the new regime of Afghanistan needs being recognized by the international community for the reasons of political legitimacy, economic recovery and social stability.

On March 16, the draft resolution to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was voted at the United Nations. Yet, it failed to reflect the latest developments in Afghanistan by keeping pace with the times although China voted in favor of the draft resolution. There are varied reasons behind the vote, but one thing is certain that the Western bloc in general declines recognizing a stable and progressive Afghanistan reappearing in the gateway to Eurasia, which is seen as the “heartland” of the grand chessboard in the world politics.

As one of the key neighbors of Afghanistan, China has reiterated its position on its official line with the neighboring countries and inclusive is Afghanistan. Geng Shuang, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, recently said that the draft resolution failed to reflect the latest changes and shifts in Afghanistan by keeping pace with the times because it was drafted to impress the world that “the situation (in Afghanistan) has remained unchanged for over two years, which is clearly a disconnection with reality.”

Rather, China holds that two and a half years have passed after the withdrawal of foreign troops, and since then, Afghanistan’s overall domestic situation is stable, with improvements in both the economy and people’s livelihoods, and a sustained expansion of regional cooperation. No doubt, Afghanistan society in general face severe challenges in the humanitarian situation, economic development, and terrorism. Accordingly, the international community should strengthen its engagement with the interim government in Kabul to ensure humanitarian assistance on the one hand, and provide more help in mine clearing, alternative crop cultivation, restoring the banking system, unfreezing of overall assets, and safeguarding the rights and interests of the entire population on the other.”

This is what China has maintained over the past years since the regime-change occurred in 2021. In light of the overall stabilization of the security scenario in Afghanistan, China has opined that the UN Security Council needs to take more initiative and balanced way to consider the Afghanistan issue whenever it is necessary to support the Afghanistan people rather than hurting them. Due to this, China’s concern is that actions taken by the Security Council with regard to Afghanistan should be in line with the effective development of the country and the practical needs of the people. To that end, China stands ready to continue its communication with all parties on relevant issues.

Here it is fair to say that since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in 2021, the new ruling elite in Kabul has focused on three aspects deserving the world attention. First is the security issue. It is plain that the Taliban government has made certain progress toward enhancing security in some regions of the country and have taken the initiatives in a number of crucial sectors. They are part of the governments’ efforts to fight against terrorist activities and the widespread emergence of armed groups in some areas. For sure, violence usually makes vicious circle as so many ordinary people have also suffered. As a result, any attempts to challenge the current government, no matter they are the former military groups or unhappy with the official policies of the Taliban, have to be cracked down severely. Similarly, it is the “social and economic cost” that have assured national security and relative peace.

Second is the infrastructure reconstruction. Over the past two and a half years, various new infrastructure projects have been made or being rebuilt to support economic growth, which in turn have promoted overall economic growth in some regions of the country. For example, roads, ports, airports, communication networks, irrigation systems, electrical and energy networks, schools, hospitals, and many other social and economic infrastructures are among the advancements that fall under this category. They have equally raised employment, improved living conditions, built links between rural and urban areas, and provided conducive conditions for economic growth. Infrastructure development has the potentials to effect Afghanistan’s economic growth, enhance people’s quality of life, and ensure social justice and the reduction of poverty.

Third goes to reorganize the government establishment: One of the major concerns is that the new government must be a stable and effective one which is able to carry out its daily duties with integrity, uphold law and order, work in tandem with the needs of all levels of people, and progressively bring about social and economic changes. In modern history, Afghanistan has been troubled politically, socially and economically, so to establish a stable and trustworthy administration is crucial. Given this, the Taliban government is aware of the necessity to offer public services to all citizens equally and without bias while fostering a greater sense of public confidence. Meanwhile, the Taliban leaders should be able to oversee domestic and foreign affairs as well to serve national security interests.

Nevertheless, along with the progresses and changes mentioned above, Afghanistan is also facing major challenges and complicated problems, which include the absence of security of human rights in general, such as the reported abuses of those rights like the freedom of speech, the rights of women, children, and minorities. Many people also experience pain and suffering as a result of violations of human rights, which can undermine public confidence in the political system. To address these issues, the government and the international community must take significant action and prioritize ensuring the protection of human rights in Afghanistan.

However, Afghanistan has also witnessed the economic difficulties such as the decline in economic output and the rise in the unemployment rate. As a result, the economic situation in Afghanistan has been heavily affected political credibility and social stability, which in turn also make it harder for the government to deliver public services and all sorts of security. In addition, to move to the rank of a “normal” country, the Taliban still needs to make all efforts to assure the balanced economic planning, the sustainable growth of businesses and workable banking facilities. Only in this way, can the Taliban government undertake full scale of national infrastructures from economic, educational and environmental to direct foreign investment and multi-level trade.

In sum, this article argues that there have been notable changes to the social and economic policies of the Taliban, yet, Afghanistan as a sovereign state has not yet received the necessary respect, equality and confidence from the international community even though China and many other neighbours have been consistent to provide its fundamental aid and support to Afghanistan. There is no question that offering financial and technical support, commercial facilities, infrastructure projects and technical training to the local population, the economic and social growth of Afghanistan as well as its problem-solving abilities would be greatly enhanced. In the meantime, the Taliban leadership also needs to understand that to be a decent and fully-respected member state of the international community, it is imperative for any government to respect women’s and children’s rights while providing basic amenities to the people in general. This is not just an issue of politics, but more a fundamental value of human democracy and people’s right.

Ahad Shahab Ramin
Ahad Shahab Ramin
MA in International Relations, a Afghan Azad Corresponddent.