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Editorial: Putin’s friendly gesture and Afghanistan’s challenges

A promising gesture shown by Russia needs to be welcomed by Kabul as it needs economic development to keep the pace intact and not let the country slide back. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow is eager to help the people of Afghanistan in order to keep their country stable after pullout of the coalition troops. The promising gesture which Moscow has shown is its readiness to stand by the side of Kabul if it finds itself in troubles after coalition forces withdrawal. This time around Afghans shouldn’t be deceived in recognizing a friend and a foe. Moscow has been a real friend. Had then Soviet not been defeated by the US, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the West, by now Pashtunistan would have been a reality, a liberated Baluchistan would have emerged on the world map, and today’s Afghanistan would have been a country worth vying, but the United States wanted to give its Vietnam war to Russians, which is why Washington unleashed a deadly game. The US was allied by Pakistan as well as allies to quell Pashtun irredentism, to leave Afghanistan in ruins forever and to use it as a backyard in its strategic depth policy against India.

However, now gone is the time of strategic depth policy as Afghanistan will no more be used by Pakistan as its backyard and a militant nursery. To smell what the Soviet has left in the country, just a visit across the city is enough to tell you. Apart from major road constructions, Macroryan Housing Complex, Kabul Polytechnic Institute, and Silos are some of the projects that speak volumes of Russia’s policy for Afghanistan. But, unfortunately Afghans were made believe that Moscow is their arch enemy. Salang tunnel construction is all time largest construction project of Moscow in Afghanistan. Kabul needs enhanced political, social, cultural, and economic ties with Moscow, but they shouldn’t nudge Afghanistan towards socialist community ideologically as this experiment has already given serious backlashes. Though Communism was not a religious ideology but a polity and system of economics challenging capitalism, but to tame it spread, the US and its allies invested billions of dollars into creating a mindset, which still is a monstrous challenge to get away with.
Now the US has realized its blunder and it is here to reap its whirlwind. Somehow Kabul and Washington have made a little bit headway to get away with this mindset nevertheless it will take really much longer to fully overcome this militant mindset, because still there are many countries that are investing in it to restrict Afghanistan’s development and make it dependent on those whose foreign policies are based in intrusion. Moscow and Kabul have long enjoyed cordial relations. By passing the historical origin if someone looks back into the agreement that two sides have signed is enough to believe that Russians’ role could prove much productive. On March 01, 1956, Kabul and Moscow concluded an agreement concerning technical assistance in construction of 16 diverse works including three dams—Pul-e-Khumri, Naghlu and Jalalabad, and also Jalalabad irrigation canal. The two sides also signed an agreement on water use and development on the Amu River Basin on June 25, 1958.
Besides that thousands of scholarships were given to Afghan students and thus Moscow produced a scholarly culture among Afghans. Kabul currently needs relations cemented with all international and regional powers as there has been a sharpest decline in international aid. With the withdrawal of foreign troops further decline will take place. To fill the gap, Kabul needs multiple alliances and agreements with those who want to invest in the country, help in boosting security and improve education quality.

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