Gov’t needs to clarify stance on Iran’s support for Taliban

Tuesday, 22 May 2018 03:20 Written by  Read 80 times

Foreign interference is a major contributing factor in the protraction of Afghan war. From the United States to the regional countries, every country is meddling in internal affairs of Afghanistan for the sake of their interests, something that has prolonged the Afghan conflict. It is beyond a shadow of a doubt that Pakistan supports the Taliban. Afghan government and people have long been calling on the international community to press Pakistan to give up backing terrorists. Now, Iran and Russia are also accused of aiding militants in Afghanistan. Criticism of Tehran has recently grown for cultural invasion and provision of direct support for the Taliban in Afghanistan. These accusations were mostly being made by local officials in the country’s west. However, the defense minister said following the fall of Farah city that the war in the province was over water resources, but he did not directly mention Iran. Local officials accuse Iran of backing the Taliban.
Although Iran is historically considered a backer of the Northern Alliance-- an anti-Taliban front, the emergence and expansion of Daesh in Afghanistan has brought Tehran and the Taliban closer. There is an assumption that Iran established relations with its old enemy, the Taliban, to counter the growing threat of a new enemy, Daesh. Water can be another reason that prompts Iran to get closer to Taliban.
Generally speaking, the National Unity Government’s stance on Iran’s support for the Taliban is vague. Neither Arg (the Presidential Palace) nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has clearly said anything about whether or not the government possesses any evidence of Iran’s involvement in Afghanistan. If there is concrete evidence of Tehran’s support for the Taliban, the government has to embrace a unanimous stance against it and urge Tehran to stop it. Otherwise, government leaders should not precipitate hostility with all neighboring countries just to whitewash their failures, especially now as Afghanistan needs regional consensus more than anything else for its peace and stability. The role of government’s foreign policy apparatus is crucial in this area. Through active diplomacy, the government should encourage regional and transregional states to cooperate than confront each other.

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