Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met with Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the National Resistance Front, and Ismail Khan in Tehran on Monday. Reports indicate that Mr. Muttaqi spoke arrogantly from a high position. Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that the Taliban had assured Ahmad Massoud and Ismail Khan that they could return to Afghanistan without any fear.
Although the war has brought defeats and victories to the parties over the past four decades, it has “never” solved the country’s problem. Politics and power in the country have not served the people. The government has not become a servant and a mirror of society. Therefore, the lifespan of political systems has been short. The coup d’état of Dawood Khan ended with another bloody coup. The communists who came to power began eliminating their political opponents and critics. With the violence they used, they shortened the life of their government. The Mujahidin government also did not live long because it did not show tolerance towards others. Furthermore, during the Taliban rule in the 1990s, there was no trace of the country’s ethnic and religious diversity.
Unfortunately, the monopoly of power in the last two decades was pursued by the two presidents in different ways. And their approach did not lead to a happy ending for the political system (republic). They monopolized power over the teams. However, now that the Taliban have come to power, they are moving in the same wrong but prosperous direction. Not only have they not laid the groundwork for the Resistance Front Leaders and its supporters in the pyramid of power, but also no other party has been given any role in the country’s politics and power.
Most importantly, the Taliban view the government as spoils of war and consider it as entirely their own. The country and its resources did not belong to Ashraf Ghani and his gang, whom the Taliban had plundered on the battlefield and divided among themselves. This country and its resources belong to all its citizens and inhabitants. Taliban forces are now competing for key and non-key positions. It seems that the ordinary people of Afghanistan (those who are neither Taliban, nor members of the Resistance Front, nor members of political parties) have no right to participate in political processes.
The fact is that the Taliban have failed to form an inclusive government in the last five months. The image they portray of themselves is harsh, one-party, and monopolistic. The crackdown on protests, the arrest of critics, the removal of individuals from the non-Pashtun background from the pyramid of power, the closure of educational institutions, and the imposition of restrictions on women paint a picture of the Taliban that is inconsistent with international standards and even the commitments of Taliban leaders. Recruiting one or two figures in the government cannot break the barrier of monopolizing power and project the image of a pluralistic government. If government posts are not divided among the Taliban alone, the monopoly will be broken.
The monopoly of power pushes the country backward. The fate of Afghanistan should not be a constant setback. The only way forward is to break the monopoly of power and the meaningful participation of all parties and ordinary citizens in politics. Talking to the leaders of the Resistance Front could be a step towards resolving the current dilemma – if the two sides are honest and flexible in their positions.
There is no sign of flexibility in the tone of Zabihullah Mujahid’s tweet. It seems that the resistance front claims to return to the country, and the Taliban have solved the problem by giving assurances and permission to return. If there is a discussion, it must be on major national issues. The problem of the country is not the displacement of some politicians. This problem has many layers, one of the most important of which is the monopoly of power. Solving this problem can also begin with breaking the monopoly of power through constructive dialogue and giving ground to all citizens of the country. If war and repression have not been able to solve the country’s problem before, they will not be able to do so again. The people of Afghanistan will sooner or later have to tolerate each other, understand each other’s language, speak to each other and recognize the fundamental rights of their citizens. Therefore, this should happen sooner.
Source: Hasht-e Subh Daily