We now know it is certain that American troops will leave Afghanistan in 2014, and this has become a dilemma for many Afghan people. Politicians believe one thing and the people believe something different. But mostly Afghans are scared about 2014. Even the children are now talking about 2014 and sharing their assumptions with each other.
When President Karzai went to Washington in early January to meet President Obama, in addition to announcing that the withdrawal of American troops would begin in March, Karzai announced that they had agreed on a Taliban office in Qatar so that the Taliban can join the political process.
But Karzai and the Afghan people need American troops to stay in Afghanistan until the terrorists are defeated.
I also find it confusing that the Taliban might work as a political party after 2014 and compete with other political parties, because so far the only Taliban involvement in political discussions has occurred at a conference in France last month organized by a French think tank. It was a new start for the Taliban to make decisions about how they can participate in the political process.
I think that if the Taliban joins the political process and competes as a political party among other political parties in Afghanistan, it will increase tensions and fighting. At present they are known as an anti-government group. If they change to an independent political group obligated to follow Afghanistan’s constitution, it is not clear how the next president of Afghanistan who will be elected in 2014 would react to them.
Afghans have been inhumanely punished and killed by the Taliban. Afghan people had terrible experiences during the Taliban regime and they will never support a group that kept them isolated, backward, and worse.
In particular, Afghan women wonder what the Taliban would do if the Taliban is able to work as a political group.
Afghan women will never accept the former Taliban limits on women’s rights—rights that are now written in the new constitution and supported by the Afghan government and the United Nations.
The Taliban proved their savageness, not only to Afghan people but also to the whole world, with their behavior toward women, their killing of Hazara people ,and forcing Afghans to leave their homes and flee to foreign countries. The Taliban continues to be against humanity and peace, and if they are given the chance to return to government, they will again follow their own rules.
On the other hand, Afghans believe that if the government and people encourage the Afghan forces and support them, they will be able to control security and get the courage to fight against terrorism and the Taliban.
Photo: Presidents Karzai and Obama at a press conference in Washington, DC on January 11, 2013.