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Afghanistan – under Taliban – the freedom people need right now

It took twenty years for Americans to recognise the need for a peace agreement with Taliban once they had declared a terror outfit. During this period, over a million of Afghans have been killed, millions maimedand displaced as direct consequence of invasion. Destroyed is that once beautiful, resourceful, and peaceful nation, taken away are their freedom, integrity, and identity. Created is a generation of uneducated, unemployed, and traumatized population.

American taxpayers have been drained off 2 trillion dollars arming Afghanistan.  They trained an army to make Afghanistan a client state in the region, only to destabilize the entire region, particularly Iran and Pakistan, even though Pakistan was their ally.

Forty-two years ago, Iran ousted America’s strongman, the Shah. Since then, American foreign policy has evolved around Iran. Crippling sanctions have since been imposed in the name of the Iranian nuclear program. But the question arises why Pakistan? The answer lies in the fact that Pakistan is the only nuclear power in the Muslim world. US and its allies wouldnever accommodate a nuclear Muslim nation.

Taliban overpowered the US-trained Afghan army and secured an effortless victory and declared amnesty. Since then, Taliban have tried to convey that they have changed while in exile. We do not have any options other than to take them at their word and continue to scrutinize their future actions. Billion-dollar worth of arms and military equipment abandoned by the withdrawing US troops, are at their disposal and a worn-out Afghanistan desperately wants peace.

Since American-installed Ghani fled the countryabsconding with millions of dollars, the international community have turned its attention to the people of Afghanistan.  Some selected segments of the community are more concerned about whether Taliban will allow music, whether women would be allowed to western outfits etc.  As if these count as top priorities of the people in that war-torn country right now. People who live in comfort zones can afford to talk about people who continue to suffer for last 40 years,not due to any fault of their own, but due to foreign invasions. Therefore, neither is western lifestyle nor music their priority right now.

U.S freezes nearly 10 billion Afghanistan Central Bank Assets. This money belongs to the people of Afghanistan and should be released to them. At the risk of Afghans to starving to death, the harsh Afghanwinter is approaching, Afghanis need food and shelternot weapons. This freezing of money is equivalent to sanctions being imposed on the people of Afghanistan. 

Such sanctions killed 500,000 children in Iraq and continues to kill people in Iran. Therefore, to give relief to the people of Afghanistan suffering for last 40 years, Biden administration must be lobbied to releasefrozen Afghan assets.

Peace must be promoted in Afghanistan through dialogue and an inclusive government.  This is the only way forward towards a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan to bring stability in the region.

Written by Hanif Bismi

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Afghanistan – rendering the Great Game to a New Game

Tribute to Syed Ali Shah Geelani (1929-2021)