Afghanistan: Fears, Hopes And Dream Of A New Asia
By Ali Hassnain
To be able to analyse objectively we have to understand who stands to win and who stands to lose from the current Afghan scenario. We need to understand why sections of Indian media are propagating sheer nonsense from non-existent role of Pakistan Air Force in Panjshir valley or non-existent fifth floor of Serena Hotel which supposedly Pakistani intelligence is using. (Serena Kabul is a lovely scenic two story building).
Let me mention a few things that the readers need to know. This aid is peanuts and is not of interest for any country (it’s not 1960s). US can freeze assets of Afghan government, it’s not a doomsday scenario for Taliban but people of Afghanistan and region would suffer badly. Its seriously one of the most terrible ideas that exist. Unfortunately, India has a right wing extremist government and they are not even a neighbour of Afghanistan. Their only interest is to use Afghan soil against Pakistan.
However, that is another topic for another day. Today I dare to dream. Open borders from Lahore to London…. There is everything to gain and nothing to lose. Trade and open borders through Afghanistan and CPEC would bring unprecedented prosperity to the region and use untapped potential. Opportunity cost of untapped human and natural resources is appalling. If Pakistan to Russia or at least within the central Asian countries we have open borders like EU or Shenzhen it would bring streams of unprecedented prosperity. There is a lot of untapped potential and nobody stands to lose.
But unfortunately international realities don’t work rationally. India has lost quite frankly. Would the fears and distrust of West turn Taliban 2.0 into Taliban 1.0? We would have to wait and see. That is the elephant in the room. If they treat Afghanistan like Saudi Arabia and work with them instead of against them, some good would come out of it. Taliban are by no means dependant on West, however it is in the interest of West and the Taliban to take a policy of reconciliation (however difficult). Two decades were spent making the western elite happy through contractors (let us state facts). Let us hope that common sense will prevail; if it does next five years would be of unprecedented growth from Pakistan to Russia and beyond.