Afghanistan is a landlocked and mountainous country sandwiched between middle-east countries, which are suffering from chronic instability and conflict during modern history. During 19 th and 20 th century, it was the centre of great game and acted as a buffer state between imperial Russia and British empire. Its Fate does not change even in the post colonial world and became the arena for cold war power politics, when Soviet troops made an invasion to back the communist regime. Anti communist and jihadi mujahedeen forces were actively supported by America through supplying arms and money with the help of Pakistan. When Soviet union withdrawed its forces from Afghanistan, civil war was protracted.
After the fall of communist regime under Mohammad Najibullah, Islamic state of Afghanistan was formed in 1992. At this stage, Islamic Fundamentalist movement started in Afghanistan called as Taliban. It over throw the previous government and formed a new government called as Islamic emirate of Afghanistan. Taliban drawn from the largest ethnic group of afghans, Pasthuns which were opposed by the alliance of factions. It controlled nearly 90% of Afghanistan until late 2001. Taliban followed extreme form of Islam. It enforced strict interpretations of Sharia or Islamic law. They are condemned internationally for their brutal treatment of women. Mohammad Omar was serving as a spiritual leader of Taliban since its formation in 1994.they got diplomatic recognition from only three states, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and U.A.E.
Al-Qaeda supported Taliban regime with imported fighters from Arab countries and Central Asia. Saudi Arabia financially supported the Taliban regime. Sunni tinge made them nearer. Osama Bin Laden, who was the head of Al-Qaeda and mastermind behind the bombing of US embassies in Africa in 1998 and 9/11 attacks on US. Taliban refused to hand over Bin laden and US initiated aerial attacks in October 2001, under NATO to drive Taliban out of power.
Taliban was overthrown by American led invasion of Afghanistan .Later American backed government under leadership of Hamid karzai was formed, but Taliban later regrouped and continued insurgency movement against NATO led International Security Forces (ISF).
In 2014 elections were held but no candidate gets the perfect majority. A deal was made between 2 presidential candidates Ashraf Gani and Abdulah Abdullah. Ashraf Gani belonged to Pasthun tribe became the president and Abdullah became the CEO which is equivalent to prime minister. Democratic support began in and power transition takes place smoothly. Bilateral security arrangement was made between US and Afghanistan, in which 13000 foreign troops; mostly Americans remain in country under a new 2 year mission called as “Resolute support”. It is a support mission to train afghan security forces to fight against insurgents. Finally in December in 2014, 13 years old war was ended by the coalition forces led by NATO and stopped its combat mission in Afghanistan.
American policy of global “War on Terror” started with Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime, aftermath of 9/11 attacks on US, But Taliban and Al-Qaeda were the Frankenstein monsters created by the US. They have their origins in the mujahedeen actively supported by the US under Regan doctrine against Soviet Union in 1979 invasion of Afghanistan .US dig its own grave by supporting the Islamic Jihad and religious fundamentalism and it became a threat to global peace too. It mapped out a strategy to for long war to address principal security threats from rogue states to 21st century global world order. Under this mask it legitimatized the unlimited range of foreign and domestic policy interventions to protect its global hegemony. It put global peace at risk at the cost of its national interest. Present day terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda, Hizabul Mujaheeden, Laksheyra-E-Toiba, have their origins in mujahedeen group of 1980’s.Al though war largely succeeded in its initial aim of ejecting Al-Qaeda from Afghanistan but utterly failed in larger effort to defeat Taliban completely and to bring stability and peace to Afghanistan. Finally Taliban insurgents declared defeat to US and its allies in 13 years long war
A variety of theories have been advanced to explain the nature of war on terror. The most influential of these is Samuel Huntingtons “clash of civilizations”. It suggests that larger trend for cultural and religious conflicts assume greater prominence in 21 century global politics.
Pak –Afghanistan policy
Pakistan ISI and military was widely alleged by the by the international community for supporting Taliban. After 2001 US attack on Taliban regime in Afghanistan, Pakistan allowed Taliban bases to operate from the tribal areas of North west Pakistan and Af-Pak border .They believe some factions of Taliban can be used as counter balancing forces to its western neighborhood, India. Still Pakistan believes that Taliban is ally to it but the rise of growing terrorism internally within the country from Tehreek-e-Taliban, Pakistani Taliban .Although operationally different, these organizations have their roots in Taliban. There are nothing like good Taliban or bad Taliban. All these terroristic organizations are chauvinistic religious fundamentalism questioning the authority of state .So selective actions against the certain factions of Taliban will not give the fruit full results .Recent TTP attacks on Lahore international airport and massacre of Pakistani school children should be a eye opener for Pakistan to fight against terrorism and to ensure regional security and stability of Central Asia and South Asia.