Afghanistan’s human security challenges

(Sajjad Shaukat, )

Muhammad Rehan Rasheed

The United Nations observes international days during the month of June, which are mostly dedicated to human security – such as Innocent Children Victims of Aggression Day, Child Labor Day, Sustainable Gastronomy Day, Drug Abuse Day, Illicit Trafficking Day, Sexual Violence in Conflict Areas and World Refugees Day. Ironically no other country but Afghanistan alone bears the UN days’ application in full as all the above menaces are seen in abundant there.

It is the classic example of declined human security wherethe State hasfailed to address micro level insecurities being faced by Afghan population. The development work has been badly affected by ineffective governance amidst TTA and IS terror challenge. Even massive foreign aid has failed to help. Acute scarcity of technical and skilled human resource has doubled the dilemma that demands the urgency of bringing back and repatriate refugees and experts or technicians from other countries.

Kabul’s role is seemingly guided by self-interests rather than humanitarian concerns.Itneeds to own responsibility as theinternational community must join hands to create peace as well as economic opportunities in Afghanistan. Pakistan being in the immediate neighbour is bearing itsspillover, besides the so far largest and longest refugee burdenfor the last four decades. Not only has it been badly affected by the menaces like terrorism and extremism,it has also seen organized crime, child labour, drug and human trafficking, which has put in jeopardy Pakistan’s economy, security and social fabric. India, the arch enemy, is taking full advantage of such a precarious situation.

It’s not easy to sustain development activity in the land locked country; existing conditions are likely to remain the same in near future.Kabul government and the international community should work together to bring peace and prosperity for its people. This is only possible if an acceptable-to-all political setup is evolved. Nonexistent structure and absent legitimacy are the problems that need to be addressed first.Stability of political system is directly proportional to the stability of military and economic structure. Security is prerequisite to longstanding economic growth. Without confidence that resources invested today will still be owned and available tomorrow, investment will wither, growth decline, assets depreciate, and economy will collapse. In this sense security and economy are interdependent factors and it implies from this concept that security is necessary and a complementary investment.

Present geostrategic and socioeconomic environment of Afghanistan does not pose any threat or aggression from outside.Therefore,the Afghan government needs to focus on internal stability, law and order situation. For this purpose, Kabul requires strong and capable law enforcement forces to bring peace and tranquility in the country. The most pressing task is an effective action against rebellions and dissident factions, disarming the common citizen and firm operations against drug dealers and illicit traffickers.Afghanistan doesn’t have manufacturing capability. It has to rely on foreign suppliers for spares and ammunition. Training is also controlled by their benefactors and also need special training and equipment to control narcotics. Therefore, Afghan forces will have to depend on foreign assistance for a long time to come.

According to a latest report by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR)America has spent more than $78 billion for Afghanistan’s security since 2002. Similarly, members of Afghan Army are involved in corruption cases and the same report reveals that multi billion dollars have been spent to counter narcotics initiatives but still there is63 percent increase in the land under poppy cultivation during the 2017 growing season from the previous year whilethe raw opium production increased by an alarming 88 percent. This shows ineffective utilization of the US taxpayers’ money, which does not allow to afford a large standing incapable Army; it calls for a different system to fulfill the internal security requirements wherein the economic factor is duly catered.

Announcing the new Afghan policy, President Donald Trump declared,“We are not nation building again.”Failure of US ambitions in Afghanistan is quite evident from this statement. Nevertheless, this is time to help Afghanistan that has been destroyed in the New Great Gamewhere the powers at be are trying to fulfill their self-interests by exploiting Afghanistan. The most critical are US, India and Iran factors; their involvement is destabilizing Afghanistan by directly affecting its relationship with Pakistan. Obama had curtailed the role of US military in Afghanistan while Trump is doing the opposite;he likes to bolster military efforts. The rise and fall of US troops’ level is a clear manifestation of America’s failed policy that brought nothing but miseries to the Afghan people.

The number of US fatalitiesin Afghanistan aloneisover2,000, other than the causalities to US troops and coalition forces. Still the security forces are struggling against the increasing influence of Taliban, which is a clear indication of the fast deteriorating security situation there. If an army with the most sophisticated weaponrycan’t bring peace and stability, then how is it possible to bring peace with the help of a ragtag Afghan Army? Isn’t it alarming for the world at large?Here lies Pakistan’s major concern: Afghanistan needs ownership from US in all aspects. It is the prime responsibility of the US and international community to remain committed to security and reconstruction process until a stable government is established in Afghanistan, besides providing requisite funds for the development of country’s economy and rehabilitation of Afghan people.

Afghanistan is a pearl in pursuit of which different powers are involved but it can only be accessed through Pakistan which is the most important player in the region. A stable Afghanistan is in the greater interest of Pakistan; it can pave the way for return of refugees. Peace and stability in Afghanistan are prerequisite to stability and development in Pakistan. Afghanistan is a regional issue, directly affecting the stability and prosperity of the peoples. Leaving aside politics of competition, there is a need to adopt the policy of “peaceful coexistence”. In the wake of current global developments, it is in the interest of Afghanistan and Pakistan to develop more integrated political and economic relations that lead to greater common security, peace, stability and development after due consideration of regional perceptions of each country.

Road to stability and economic recovery is long and requires great deal of careful planning. Proper planning requires feasibility studies for precise decision making. Planners may also consider regional economic integration and formation of a free trade association with neighboring countries. Pakistan and Afghanistan share a long border with numerous routes and passes that can be utilized for regional trade. Close and harmonious relations must be the cornerstone of foreign policy. The world is fast turning into regional bloc’slegalized form of protectionism. Thus, the developing countries should restructure their relationships to meet challenges of the new world.A stable, peaceful, developed, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan is in the interest of all the regional countries.

(The author is student of IR)

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22 May, 2018 Views: 162


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