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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/21/21

Putin says outside forces should not impose their values on Afghanistan

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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The political reality is that the Taliban controls most of Afghanistan, and outside forces must not impose their views on the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.

Addressing a news conference with the visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel Putin said: "The Taliban movement today controls almost the entire territory of the country, including the capital. This is the political reality, and one must proceed from these realities, preventing the collapse of the Afghan state."

He emphasized that "it is necessary to stop the irresponsible policy of imposing someone else's values --from the outside, the desire to build democracy from outside according to other people's patterns, without taking into account any historical, cultural or religious peculiarities. Completely ignoring the traditions by which other peoples live."

Perhaps alluding to the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, President Putin said: "We know Afghanistan well, we know how this country is organized and how counterproductive it is to try to impose unusual forms of government and social life on it. Any such social and political experiments have not yet been successful and only lead to the destruction of the state, the degradation of their political and social systems."

Putin pointed out that the Taliban have already announced the end of hostilities, have begun to establish public safety for local residents, foreign diplomatic missions.

At the same time Putin said it is important to prevent the "penetration of terrorists" "disguised as refugees" into countries near Afghanistan. "In our opinion, it is especially important now to prevent the penetration of terrorists of all stripes into the territory of states adjacent to Afghanistan, including disguised as refugees," Putin said.

No alternative to the Taliban

Tellingly, in Kabul the Russian Ambassador Dmitry Zhirnov Friday praised the conduct of the Taliban in the days since its takeover, saying there was no alternative to the Taliban and resistance to it would fail.

The comments on Friday by Ambassador Dmitry Zhirnov reflect efforts by Russia to deepen already well-established ties with the Taliban while stopping short, for now, of recognizing them as the legitimate rulers of a country Moscow tried and failed to control before the Soviet Union withdrew its last forces in 1989, according to Al Jazeera.

Russia wants to ensure that the instability in Afghanistan does not spill over into Central Asia, part of the former Soviet Union it regards as its own back yard, and that the region does not become a launchpad for other armed groups, Reuters said.

Speaking to Reuters news agency from Kabul by Zoom, Zhirnov said the security situation in the capital was much better than it was before the Taliban took control of it and spoke optimistically about the future.

"The mood in Kabul can be described as one of cautious hope," said Zhirnov.

"There was a bad regime which disappeared and people are hopeful. They say it can't be worse so it should be better. But this is another test for the Taliban to pass. After they restore order, they should start improving the socioeconomic situation," he said.

Zhirnov's comments contrast sharply with those of some Western politicians and rights activists who are deeply sceptical that the Taliban has moderated its violence towards those they see as incompatible with their nascent emirate governed by strict Islamic law, Reuters pointed out.

China, Pakistan enhance coordination on Afghan issues

Meanwhile, China and Pakistan are enhancing communication and coordination on Afghan issues as two important neighbors of Afghanistan, and expect to play constructive roles in maintaining regional peace and stability, which has triggered India's anxiety. India has been unwilling to make a U-turn in its policies after a prolonged hostility toward the Afghan Taliban, Global Times said Thursday.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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