Kolkata: So, the Taliban are now in full control of Afghanistan after a hiatus of 20 years. The blitzkrieg is back and the rest of the world has no other option than being mute spectators. Sad and despicable indeed. But that is a thing of the past now as we have more or less reconciled to the ‘indomitable’ power of the Pashtun group which decimated the war-torn nation during its previous stint at the helm.
Now that we have ostensibly succumbed to the might of the Taliban, the ground reality has to be gauged so as to decide on our next course of action. And what is imperative is the future of those innocent and hapless Afghans left at the mercy of the hardliners and gasping for peace.
The sordid pictures coming from the Kabul airport are stark reality — Afghans are petrified and are scrambling for a safer haven. Despite the Taliban toning it down displaying a rather moderate image, the common man doesn’t want to leave anything to chances. He shudders imagining life under the Taliban. Point noted?
For the rest of the world, enough of apathy! Now show some empathy! We can’t stoop the lowest by turning our backs on lakhs of souls left in the lurch. Stop the kvetching! The damage has already been done!
So, what is the way out? Unanimity is the need of the hour! Opposing the Taliban regime means mayhem at the expense of the ordinary Afghans. Reach out to the authoritarian rulers, mollify them and ensure they do not smell a rat!
Already there are signs of the olive branch being offered to the brutal men – China, Russia and of course Pakistan (the trusted confidante of the Taliban) seek peaceful relations with the despotic rulers – now that was a foregone conclusion given their acrimony towards the USA pilloried for being the sole ‘perpetrator’ behind throwing Afghanistan into a state of shambles.
But nations have to rise beyond their vested interests. Every move taken would be meticulously watched and any faux pas can have dangerous ramifications. In the larger interest of Afghans, we need to shed differences and reach one platform – there is no alternative to buying peace with the Taliban because enmity would cause another division on the lines of Axis and Allied of the Second World War. And we certainly cannot afford such a dangerous phase that will further push the embattled nation into a perilous state.
Looking the other way and abandoning the beleaguered lot are condemnable — decisions like that of Germany to halt aid to Afghanistan and Bangladesh’s refusal to accept Afghan refugees smack of egomania and escapism.
But can we trust the tyrannical Taliban? They claim women’s rights will not be retrenched. Foreign embassies will stay safe and the Afgan soil won’t be used against any foreign country, Taliban assure. As of now, they are keen on erasing the scars of their previous stint, but it would be suicidal to get swayed by their newly-imbibed benevolence. However, the plight of those two clinging on to aircraft wheels and eventually meeting a fatal end at the Kabul airport should shake us up!
The Afghans are terrorised and we can only escalate their horror by taking on the Taliban. There should be no selective support on the basis of any criterion! It’s all about Afghan brothers and sisters! They have been left high and dry by their coward President Ashraf Ghani who has fled in search of a safer destination, we can’t put them in the throes of an ill-fated existence.
Let’s show some humanity even if it means shunning egos and one-upmanship and brokering a truce with people with nefarious designs. Time for resuscitation! Can’t help it!