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Articles 
Afghanistan beyond 2014: The New Great Game and Uncertainty in International Politics? - By Lewany Leekwal
Tuesday, 12.11.2012, 07:37pm (GMT+1)




The year 2014, is specifically important to both Afghanistan and U.S and generally to Central Asian region and the neighboring countries because of its effects, impacts and influence. During this year Afghans will have a presidential elections in the absence of international troops, if Afghans do successful deal it, it would be a major and most historical event of Afghanistan and if Americans also do succeed in keeping their interests and a sound safe withdrawal from Afghanistan, would be a second-term great breakthrough for President Obama’s foreign policy – to be optimistic!

Surely, 2014 is considered to be a very important year in international political scenario, U.S will withdrew from Afghanistan, the new great game would emerge in the gas rich and Pipelinistanic Central Asian region, causing us its ultimate prey.

After American withdrawal, two questions will arise: An American role in the region? And what would be its effects on the future of Afghanistan? 

Both questions are enormously important for the regional powers and for Afghans, whether U.S would completely withdraw from Afghanistan or Not? The Answer to the question was given by Panetta, that US would be there to show up and they would continue the music playing for Al-Qaeda. In order to do that and according to some sources there would be approximately 10,000 American troops in the bases of Afghanistan.

After coming down the news of U.S withdrawal or to be more specific about the question of Civil War and Division of Afghanistan Mr. Karzai reacted and Called this a western propaganda. The Question still remains to be answered, whether Afghan troops would be able to deliver in such a crucial times? What role would be played by the majority personnel of army, belonging to the minor ethnic group? Will due to Taliban rejection of U.S bases, will they continue their struggle? If yes, then what would be Americans reply? These are such sort of questions, which needs cleverly and intelligent answers from Afghans because if they don't become able to do so then the imperialist forces might divide the holier integrity of one Afghan nation.


The New Great Game and Uncertainty in International Politics:

The Central Asian countries would be mostly hit by situation beyond 2014 as like afghans.

Uzbekistan feared connection between Taliban and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) they have listed IMU as terrorist organization and according to Matthew Stein Uzbekistan would definitely be involved in the future of Afghanistan. In order to have a stronger tie and good relations with each other, both the countries must act intelligently, Afghanistan or Taliban should not support IMU, and if there is any IMU member, must be expelled from the country. On the contrary, Uzbekistan should continue its support for Afghanistan, most importantly to not intervene in our affairs- only way for Peace and exploitation of natural resources in one’s interests.

Tajikistan is another player in this new game, which wants to exploit both Washington and Moscow in a competition over Central Asian states. From Tajikistan’s point of view, stability in Afghanistan is important for completion of TAPI pipeline which would bring billions of dollars to Tajikistan’s economy.

Pakistan has used Afghanistan as its Strategic depth policy in the past and is continuing to do so, which do really annoys the majority of Afghans. Pakistan can play a vital role in the stability and peace process in Afghanistan but there exists an important question to be solved by Pakistani foreign policy experts-after a debacle and failed foreign policy in the 90’s- how can they win the hearts and minds of Common Afghans?

Throughout the past decades Afghanistan was and is a proxy battle ground between Pakistan and India, both countries had tried to maintain their influence and used it against each other. Pakistan used Afghanistan as her strategic depth policy and in result diverts her full attention to Kashmir and Indo-Pak border; subsequently India in retaliation wanted to destroy this and thus supported few of her groups in Afghanistan. Till now, this policy, between these two arch rivals has continued and there is a greater chance that it might exaggerate after 2014. 
These two historical arch rivals are keen to influence Afghanistan, both wants to keep and save their own geopolitical, economic and defense interests in Afghanistan- really hurting Afghanistan!

Coming to Iran, which has 936 Kilometer long border with Afghanistan, had disputes in the past; some of them were resolved in the most diplomatic age of Shaheed Musa Shafeeq, when he was running the zero neighbor policy as like the Turk's and Davoutoglu's policy which was responsible for AK party's 2002-2011 success. 
The diplomatic crises and chaos between Tehran and Kabul came into being when Kabul was ruled by Taliban, at that times Iran nearly had launched war against Taliban. 
During Jihad times Iran supported the eight Parties of their own Shia groups. In fact, this is the Iranian policy which happened in the past, is present, and would be happening beyond 2014.
Tehran would certainly do look after, whether, U.S bases beyond 2014 is not a part of encirclement and isolation of Tehran, which is being criticized by U.S for her nuclear program. Both Washington and Tehran are also in a competition over central Asian natural resources. 
Tehran after 9/11 supported U.S occupation of Afghanistan because both were against the Taliban regime. But, Afghanistan beyond 2014 will increase tension between them. because Tehran and Washington is in competition over Pipelines, Washington deliberately want a pipeline via Afghanistan while Iranian has other intentions.

Turkey is also one of other players in the New Great Game; the ties between Ankara and Kabul are rooted in the historical relations between these two nations, but now and then they too had tensions. The most famous of them was when Shah Mahmoud Hotak defeated the armies of Ottoman Empire when she was on the side of Shia safavids and the other incident and act of Turkey which is teasing and quarrelling Afghans is the support of Hazaras and General Dostum in the past and their plans of Turkish Union.

Beijing is desperately seeing Afghanistan beyond 2014 and becomes very anxious on the question of the possibility of any militancy exports to one of her provinces, the Xinjiang. China with an average 7.8% growth rate for the last decade and is continuing to do so and this needs more energy resources in order to sustain such development. 
Afghanistan, a place which has trillion of dollars rich minerals beneath her surface needs to be exploited but China would have her other counterparts: Delhi and Washington.

The rising Russians Under Putin, the former K.G.B head, has looking forward to U.S policy beyond 2014, Moscow’s ambassador to U.N has already cleared their intentions that U.S and ISAF must clarify what are the purposes behind those bases?
Regarding the possibility of another civil war in Afghanistan, some Russian analysts and thinkers are wondering, if this can happen, what will be Moscow’s policy? At least they might not invade, after having a past experience, in order to keep and prevent her interests on the borders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and they don’t want that the region is being transferred in the turmoil.

To conclude that we Afghans don’t want a proxy war between our neighbors in our homeland, such as proxy war between Pak-Iran, Pak-India...etc. But, we do want a healthful competition in foreign direct investment (FDI) between them.

An advice for the regional powers a century ago, a Muslim thinker from sub-continent has well said about Afghanistan:

“Asia is like a human body, made of Water and Clay,
And the Afghan nation in that body is like the heart!
If there is in Afghanistan, it means for the whole of Asia!
But if Afghan prospers, it would bode well for the entire
Continent”

Looking to the poem, and history it is clear that those actors who wanted to interfered in Afghanistan had damaged Afghans and there-selves in particular and the Asian continent in general. And this might also happen beyond 2014.

IF Asia wants to prosper, all regional powers and neighboring countries must help and let Afghans do solve their own problems by themselves. We too don't want the new great game of influences in Afghanistan, let Afghans choose their own executive and rulers.


Lewany.leekwal@hotmail.com

 


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