Status of New Afghan Government
September 13th, 2021
Featured Guest: ZAFAR BANGASH, Editor of Crescent Online
Image: Taliban leaders in Doha, Qatar during talks with representatives of various Afghan factions
Description (39 minutes):
Phil interviews Zafar Bangash about two narratives on Afghanistan.
One narrative is about urban women’s protests in Kabul. That’s because the Western occupation benefited a tiny minority of Afghanistan’s urban population. The Taliban of today are not the Taliban of 1996-2001. No schools have been closed or women repressed. Actually, there have been protests by rural women in Afghanistan in support of the new government because their lives were constantly at risk under the US/NATO occupation.
The vast majority of Afghanis regarded the US-backed occupation government of Afghanistan as corrupt and against their interests. Similarly, the Taliban could not have waged a guerilla war for 20 years without popular support.
Western media have also slammed Pakistan as somehow responsible for the US defeat in Afghanistan. In reality, Pakistan lost a great deal due to the US/NATO war and occupation in terms of GNP, damage to infrastructure, US drone attacks and anti-terrorist actions.
Previous Pakistani governments collaborated with the US and NATO. Since 2019, Pakistan has been ruled by Imran Khan, who argued for an end to the US occupation, and a political solution instead. His government actively worked for a smooth transition of power in Afghanistan, avoiding a civil war. Currently, Pakistan has been the main transit point for humanitarian aid into Afghanistan, averting a humanitarian crisis, caused by the previous US-backed occupation government, which didn’t pay salaries to civil servants for six months and whose top officials fled with their suitcases filled with money from the Afghan treasury.
The second false narrative about Afghanistan is about its ethnic composition. The Western media has overlooked that the Taliban has included in its interim government representatives of many of its ethnic minorities, such as Tajiks, Usbeks, Turkmen, and Hazzara.
Western media has also been circulating rumors that Hamid Karzai, past President of Afghanistan, and Abdullah Abdullah, were arrested and killed by the Taliban. In fact, both were involved in negotiations with the Taliban in setting up an interim government.
As for the crush of Afghans trying to leave with the Americans, the Taliban has announced that it doesn’t want any of its citizens, especially the well-educated, to leave. Rather, it wants all of its citizens to remain and contribute to the reconstruction of the country.