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May Peace be Prevailed: Biden’s Pullout from Afghanistan

Jamal Akbar

The long two decades of the war has come out as the longest war for US. This war did not only produced uncertainty in the region but equipped it with the deadly patterns of war. The US war against the Taliban is coming to an end but still there is a long way to go to make peace in the region. The decision of President Biden on pulling out all the remaining troops will be followed by September 11 this year, although the strict check on Afghanistan will remain.

Going back to President Trump led Doha Deal, after the long efforts of Pakistan, the both US-Taliban agrees on certain terms and conditions. Those were withdrawing of troops: in first phase 5000 troops, followed till May 1st, 2021 to third phase, US war against ISIS in the region, power sharing of Taliban in the government and not to use Afghanistan soil for any purpose of security in future. When Biden came in power, his administration made it clear that the deal made in rush, Taliban gained more. This puts Taliban to pin a statement that they have been in war since long and they can remain in war until US did not withdraw. So, what changed the mind and perspective of Joe Biden?

The project objective of US in Afghanistan was to defeat Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in the region. Although, it took too long and too costly to act in this war, the national security advisor of white house made a statement that US has gained its objective by defeating Al-Qaeda and killing Osama Bin Laden in 2011. Withdrawing from Afghanistan is conditional as Taliban will not indulge themselves in connection with Al-Qaeda and prevention of own land from any security threats. It is not easy as it comes with hurdles for not only Afghanistan but also the region due to the stressful situation as any step now can lead to a bigger challenge.

The prospects for Afghanistan will surely enlighten the situation. This long-awaited decision will build a sense of harmony among the state and in the region. Still, some serious factors do not involve the uprising of Afghan state. The internal administration of Afghanistan is not quite satisfactory. As there are no dialogues and agreements between Afghan government and Taliban, it sets a challenge for Pakistan. Afghan government does not agree on sharing the interim government while the Taliban disagree on the ceasefire on afghan government installations. Even the withdrawal of US is not conditioned to it. This escalation will lead Pakistan to another challenge of solving the internal issues of Afghanistan as it might leads to civil war which will cause unrest in the region.

Pakistan has a clear view of creating peace in the region. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan is a first step and further will be followed also but the issues remain that Taliban post Doha deal, does not require any assistance and are no more dependent on Pakistan. Thus, if the tensions escalate in Afghanistan, Pakistan has to open its gate for more refugees. If did so, the high chances will emerge of blaming Pakistan by the government of Afghanistan. If Taliban gains power in Afghanistan, the ideology of extremist movements in Pakistan may appear which can get out of control. To play safe, Pakistan has to build a safe side by interacting with both Taliban and government through the medium of China which will help in concerning peace through the geoeconomics.

The withdrawal of US from Afghanistan will pave path for the regional integration and cooperation. China, Russia, and Turkey, cooperating with Afghanistan to bring back peace in coordination with Qatar. The likely chances of economic cooperation will enrich the country, as China has already initiated the Zaranj Delaram road in Afghanistan under the Chahbahar deal. Thus, the economics invested in states build a base not to engage in any conflict. It will all be possible when the internal affairs of state will function smoothly.

Afghanistan’s history has been rich with wars, if not external powers then internal tribes fighting for power. To say that withdrawal of US troops will pave a gap for power sharing will not be wrong, as Britain, Soviet and US tried to fill that gap. For now, there are not many options on the table for Biden but to withdraw. To think that peace can be achieved after the US withdrawal still remains a question as the shady truth of the political terrain of Afghanistan cannot be unseen.

*Jamal is  a graduation student at Quaid-i-Azam University and Internee at Islamabad Institute of Conflict Resolution (IICR).

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