Alwaght – Earlier this week, Afghan lawmakers put forward a plan to review the security pact between Afghanistan and the US, arguing that the agreement not only has not improved security conditions in the war-torn country but also has intensified insecurity and conflict there.
The security pact was signed between Washington and Kabul in September 2014 with the hope to contribute to calm in the Asian nation, but the deal has so far failed to achieve its goal, triggering social and political opposition among Afghans.
Alwaght has conducted an interview with Mohammad Molazehi, an Iran-based Afghanistan affairs expert, asking him for comments on the parliamentarians’ plan, its implementation possibility, and the results.
Mr Molazehi said that the issue should be viewed bilaterally and that only Afghanistan’s willingness to review the pact is not enough for possible changes.
US treachery in counterterrorism the root cause of Afghanistan insecurity and disorder
When asked about the reasons moving Afghan lawmakers to raise the security pact review or even revocation, the Afghanistan affairs expert said that the security pact with Washington was up for debate since the presidency of Hamid Karzai but he never signed it. The pact, he went on, was signed by Ashraf Ghani, who came to power in 2014 after a power-sharing deal that followed the disputed presidential election.
“in 2014 when the national unity government was formed, some members of parliament opposed the security pact. They argued that during the years of occupation, Americans and their NATO allies failed to accomplish their promises and the Taliban remained a power in the country. Now that the Taliban has re-seized over 50 percent of the country’s territories, the Afghan lawmakers have decided that the security agreement does not have any good to the nation and does not uproot the militant group. So, there remains no need for Kabul to stay in it.”
Mr Molazehi continued that despite the serious intention of the Afghanistan members of parliament to reconsider the accord, the main question is that how much the plan is realizable with regard to the Afghan government’s dependence on the foreign aids. He said that to answer the question we have to track the future developments in the country to see what direction they go to.
Continued foreign presence, continued crisis
Touching on the available and possible options the Afghan government could use in case of cancelation of the deal, the Afghanistan affairs expert told Alwaght that up to now, no alternative to the American and NATO role has been pondered in Afghanistan. But at a regional level, there is a belief that if the regional nations stand by each other and work together as a united force, they can pave the way for a solution to the crisis in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
“In practice, such an idea is strenuous. But if the foreign forces pull out of Afghanistan, people and administration have the potentials to arrange dialogue with the opposition forces and even seal a deal with them. If the Americans withdraw from the country, the Taliban and Haqqani Network, as the two key opponents to the Kabul government, will lose a major excuse to continue the war across the country. In fact, at the present time, the government and people have concluded that the foreign forces’ presence not only does not help settle the problems but also stands cause to the instability.”
Trump seeks talks and a deal with Taliban
Replying to question about the role of US new foreign policy on Afghan lawmakers’ decision to review the deal, Molazehi explained, “We cannot take no notice of the President Donald Trump’s foreign policy doctrine in Afghanistan’s decision to rethink the pact. Even if the NATO member states positively respond to Trump’s call to increase their NATO spending, they will make not much difference to the ground equations. The only solution is to persuade the Taliban to sit at the dialogue table. Furthermore, Pakistan and the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation should get involved in the peace process. Trump appears to show some interest to give some power to the Taliban for a conclusion to the negotiations. The fact is that even if the parliament introduces changes to the security pact through a law, Americans will not approve of them. For the US, the military presence in Afghanistan in a larger scale serves a competition with China, Russia, and Iran. It does not intend to withdraw.”
Domestic, regional, international will needed for solving the crisis
Predicting the future of Afghanistan, the Iranian expert maintained that the security will come when the whole armed factions will accept the game rules. At the present time, he went on, it is not only the Taliban and Haqqani Network that fight against the central government.
“There are over 20 other armed groups in the country. Moreover, Afghanistan is currently deeply polarized. Even the governors of various provinces who are appointed by the Kabul government are adopting policies different from those of the central government. Afghanistan is experiencing a kind of power split, raising the stakes that even if one group is ready to talk, others possibly are not. Therefore, to restore stability and peace, now the country needs a collective resolve at home, regional, and international levels. All of the actors need to reach a consensus on the return of peace to Afghanistan. Should one or more sides decline to comply, the crisis will continue.”