When the United States bombed the extremists, it renewed hopes of Afghans that they would see the heydays again. Ouster of the Taliban from power was not only a victory for the US but a time for Afghan people to rejoice because they had suffered a lot at the hands of fanatics. In 2002, major countries, except Pakistan, wholeheartedly supported Afghanistan in its reconstruction efforts. China, the US, Russia, Iran, Japan, European Union and Arab countries were on the same page. Their objectives were to get rid of terrorism and help Afghanistan to stand on its feet. Stability and peace in the war-hit country remained major concern of these countries.
Therefore, they had conflicting interests in global politics but joined hands and cooperated to support the Afghan government and people. These golden days had become part of cherished history around two years ago. Tension between Moscow and Washington increased after annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014. Failure of the two global powers to build consensus on growing insecurity and political structure in the Middle East have added to the problem. Both Russia and the US are now miles away from reaching an agreement on Syria. It is very unfortunate.
However, the recent security and political developments in Afghanistan have provided another opportunity to all the major powers to set aside their differences and promote global cooperation as they did in 2002. Broader cooperation is possible if there was a common ground. Stability of Afghanistan is the ground. All the stakeholders and influential players can build the foundation for impregnable global understanding on war against terrorism on this ground.
Russia has made an attempt to make Afghanistan and the region a better place. President Putin’s special envoy Zamir Kabulov urged the new US administration to keep troops in the war-hit country because security situation would become worst after withdrawal of foreign forces. His statement indicates that Moscow is trying to help Kabul.
Likewise, our time-tested friend India and UAE have launched a dialogue aimed at discussing security and peace in Afghanistan. The two countries will explore different ways to improve security situation in Afghanistan. Similarly, the EU special representative in the militancy-hit country, Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin, called on the de facto foreign minister of Pakistan, Sartaj Aziz, to remind him of unfulfilled promises on peace in Afghanistan. Aziz reiterated to help the Afghan-owned reconciliation process, a promise repeatedly made.
Thus, it will not be an exaggeration to say that the time is high to join hands and fight terrorism in order to make Afghanistan an abode of peace and stability. Countries with varying interests could cooperate on Afghanistan and give a positive message to the global community. Failure to do so would result in collapse of the current international system or world order.