Abdullah-Ghani Agreement and Challenges Ahead

2020/05/29 | interview, political, top news

Strategic Council Online: Given the existing ambiguities on Taliban's share of power and their political future in Afghanistan, a university professor said, considering the current challenges in Afghanistan, it seems that we will see the formation of a weak and shaky government where the disputes will continue.

Dr Reza Abedi Gonabad in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, referring to the news reports about the signing of a political agreement between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, said: “Unfortunately, the process of state-nation building and public participation in Afghanistan is a new experience. What is taking shape in the country is similar to the developments we have seen in Iraq.”

Stating that the structures of the society in Afghanistan are still far from democratic and that ethnic views are preferred, he added: “The Pashtuns are trying to keep the power structure and the highest executive body in their hands and ethnic-tribal views are creating a weak government in Afghanistan.”

Referring to the news and speculations about the details of the agreement and the 50 per cent share of Abdullah Abdullah from power as chairman of the National Reconciliation High Council, the Afghan affairs analyst said: A weak government can be formed in Kabul, and many other issues can be challenged by such a weak government and the existence of differences in various fields, including negotiations with the Taliban and their share of power.

The US Seeks to Maintain Presence of a Weak State in Afghanistan

A weak government is what the Americans want in Afghanistan, the analyst said. “Wherever they shaped the process of state-building, they mostly used weak governments because, in the form of a weak government, they can have cultural, economic and security influence in that country. Given Afghanistan’s strategic position, they seek to maintain a weak state and deepen challenges between different groups.”

He described the experience of participation of Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani in the previous term of the government in Afghanistan as unsuccessful and a cause of weakening of the central power, and said: “It seems that we will see the same situation in the government being formed in Afghanistan.”

Abedi Gonabad said that this power-sharing and compromise was the product of foreign pressure, referring to US threats to cut off cooperation and economic aid to the Afghan government, adding that one should not be deceived by Trump’s remarks about the full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. The United States wants a military and security presence in Afghanistan. They will keep part of their forces in Afghanistan to maintain their security, political & networking influence in the country.

Americans Have Come to Stay in Afghanistan

Emphasizing the importance of Afghanistan’s strategic position, he said: “The Americans have come to stay in Afghanistan. They can contain the Chinese in the region, given its location and its being border with northeast China. It is bordered to the north by the Central Asian region via Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, and Central Asia is close to the outside world, which is important in the strategic doctrine of the Russians; So the United States wants to control Russia, China, and India through Afghanistan and the spread of the virus of insecurity and drugs, and all this requires a weak government in Afghanistan.

Abedi Gonabad, referring to reports that the two sides have agreed on major political issues, added: “Conflicts and suicide attacks in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan in recent days show a sceptical view of the effectiveness of this agreement.” It seems that these disputes will continue due to the formation of this weak and shaky government, and I do not hope that it will lead to stability and peace in this country in the long run.

Taliban & Its Share of Power; a Major Challenge

Referring to the ambiguities surrounding the Taliban’s share of power and their political future in Afghanistan, he said: “There is no united view of the Taliban in the government and the structure of public opinion in Afghanistan, and all of this certainly poses major challenges in the short term.

“Although Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani may share views and form a cabinet on the division of power, we will not see a single approach in society and government towards the Taliban and this division will further lead to a series of challenges and issues,” he added.

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