China has told a visiting Taliban delegation it expects the group to play an important role in ending Afghanistan’s war and rebuilding the country. That China is spot on is a fact. Unfortunately, however, the US, which is ultimately withdrawing from Afghanistan after waging in the landlocked country a 20-year war, is still not able to see the bigger picture. “Afghanistan would become a pariah state if the Taliban take control by force,” according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Little does the US official know that the Taliban are the most key stakeholders in the Afghan conflict.
The US is required to acknowledge the growing ascendency of Taliban in Afghanistan. They are not those Taliban who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. Their approach to politics is quite different from what it was until the US toppled their government 20 years ago. They’re visiting world capitals to create wider acceptance of themselves.
Naqi Zafar (Karachi)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021