Afghanistan is far from order
Photo : Map of Afghanistan
My heart goes out to the 400 wounded and the more than 90 dead in the recent suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan. Strangely, the majority of victims were civilians and not military personnel, diplomats or foreigners as have been in the past. Is it that the chickens are coming home to roost? Are the people’s connivance and silent co-operation with extremism now boomeranging in their faces?
Generally evil flourishes where there is silent co-operation. Nowhere have criminal activities flourished in a vacuum. They usually strive in a soil or social environment that waters and nourishes it. Historically, Afghanistan has been a theatre of war, more as a centre for recruiting mercenaries. When Alexander (the Great) of Macedonia was invading India (327BC), he was assisted by tribal leaders in Afghanistan. The culture of Afghanistan always subdued itself to recruitment of mercenaries for war. Forging a national identity for itself was never a priority among its people.
Ahmed Shah Abdali of Afghanistan was invited by Muslims of India to invade northern India to crush the growing Hindu powers and restore Islamic influence. The Muslims felt that Hindu influence was rejuvenating itself. Abdali, heeding the call, raised an army, invaded and defeated the Hindus at Panipat in 1761 and returned to Afghanistan.
Such hooliganism of the past has made Afghanistan a theatre of war for ambitious kings, tribal leaders and warlords. Recently Afghanistan was occupied by the Soviet Union and was later freed by the Mujaheedeens with the assistance of the US and the West. Later, the Taliban, sponsored by Pakistan, took charge of the country. Again, the United Nations had to intervene to remove the Taliban, thus plunging the country into a bitter civil war. Today, the Afghans are helpless spectators. They are now desperately hoping to restore social and political order in a society that never enjoyed peace for the last 1200 years.
Clearly, the Afghans have never worked toward strengthening an Afghan identity. Located at the centre of powerful neighbours, the Afghans were thrown hither and thither, never to be defined. No effort was made in the past to forge a national identity. The “strong man” mentality continued to plague the land. Tribalism triumphed over nationhood. The efforts of the United Nations and the US have failed to bear the desired result.
May be the Islamic world needs a return of the Caliphate as the solution to this chaos. The Muslim world needs direct order and instructions to follow. While the instructions are clear, it is only an authorised one, the Caliph, who can dispense such instructions.
The attempt of ISIS to deliver a Caliphate is dismal and bleak. It is now clear that the Islamic world is far away from peace and order. Afghanistan would only continue to be the centre for chaos and disorder because historically it has failed to forge an identity as a nation with a history and culture of its own. It is the huge debt that nations and people pay when they leave it to others to define their identity. The Afghan people have to face squarely the issue of identity .They have a responsibility to bury their differences to forge a lasting unity and an identity that is uniquely Afghan and not to continue to be a pawn in global conflicts.