The decades old conflict in the landlockedCentral Asian country of Afghanistan claimed thousands of souls and also destroyed educational and economicstructures of the country. The political history of the country is bloody andfragile. Since the Soviet (now Russia) invasion and her withdrawal after 10years, the country has gone through various crusts and troughs. However, in thepost-cold war era, the country became a new battle field of many major powersof the world and worsened the already complex situation in the country.Pertinently, the human cost in this war-torn territory of the Central Asiaregion is unprecedented.
US Led Afghanistan Invasion:
The US invasion of Afghanistan started soonafter a series of deadly attacks on the World Trade centre and thePentagon on September 11, 2000. The attacks, which devoured 3000 souls, werecarried by Al Qaeda roughly located in the naked mountains of Afghanistanterritory and around Afghan-Pakistan border. The attacks not only shook thesecurity apparatus of the US but also changed the world order. It was thesecond most furious and deadly attack on US soil after Japan's attack on PearlHarbour before the end of Post-second world war which then forced the UnitedStates of America to use two atom bombs in the twin Cities of Japan. However,the US response to 9/11 was ferocious and started from the toppling of theTaliban (supporter of Al Qaeda) regime in Kabul and carried repeated airstrikes against the attackers. The US and its NATO allies led an overseas"military adventure" and started an operation called OperationEnduring Freedom against the Jihadists groups operating in Afghanistanterritory. However, in all these years the furious military encounters betweenthe Taliban – Al Qaeda against the US led NATO forces proved disastrous toAfghan people and have devastated the country's economy, human and socialcapital and other institutions.
What is Doha Peace Deal?
The recently signed peace deal between theUS – Taliban leaders led by Afghan-American special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad andthe leader of Taliban delegation Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in presence of manyworld leaders including the representatives from both India and Pakistan in theOpulent Hall at a hotel in Doha, capital of Qatar. The deal was signed after aneighteen month long process between the US and the Taliban negotiators. Theimmediate outcome of the deal was the reduction of the US led NATO coalitionforces from 14,000 to 8,600 in its first 135 days including all its non-diplomaticcivilian personnel, private security, contractors, trainers etc, and therelease of Taliban militants from Afghanistan government and the 1000 prisonersof the other side will also be released by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan(I.e. Taliban) mentioned in the peace deal signed by both the parties. It ispertinent to mention, that the US being a contemporary realistic statethat believes in power, undoubtedlysurrendered before the Taliban militia to withdraw its forces within 14 monthsfrom Afghanistan which Taliban hailed as a victory and America's absolutesurrender. More importantly, the fundamental objective of the Taliban also metin the peace deal what they were demanding for the withdrawal of all theforeign forces from its soil. At the same time, this too can be acknowledgedthat it is the first landmark event in the post cold war ear which enables theTaliban to return back in the political affairs of Kabul and US troops to theirhomes. Undoubtedly, the success of the Peace deal will be a major foreignpolicy achievement of President Trump as many political scientist believe.
Bypassing the Gender Rights:
The widely acknowledged Peace deal had alsofaced criticism from many quarters around the world including the feminists andother gender based writers who claimed that the peace is half done as there wasno mention of human rights of women of Afghanistan in the signed document. Theyargued that the Doha peace deal again showed the male-centric worldview ofInternational relations. While reading the peace deal document, there is nomention of the safety of women rights in Afghanistan despite knowing the pastatrocities and handling of the Taliban group against the women population inAfghanistan. After the signing of peace deal many women fear that they willlose everything what they have achieved in all these years with the help ofmany international support. The grave abuses of Taliban against womenfolk inAfghanistan is widely clear. The girl schools and the work in public andprivate places was banned during the Taliban regime. Prior to US invasion ofAfghanistan, the women population weren't allowed to take part in social,educational, political and economic matters of the country. Their rights wereconfined within the four walls of their homes- in total their thoughts andexpressions and what they think about the political future of Afghanistan wasnot counted rather were totally dis-empowered and sidelined. However, it wasafter the US led invasion and the first elections of 2004, the women largelyparticipated in the political and social matters of the country. As per manyreports, the participation and presence of women rapidly accelerated in theAfghan judiciary, security forces, education and health sector. Thus thesignificant improvement of the Afghan women was seen in all these 19 yearswhich again now shows dark signs ahead.
Ispahani Farahnaz author of Purifying TheLand of the pure : A history of Pakistan's religious minorities argued in herarticle in The Diplomat that "Since 2001, the US hasgiven $29 billion in civilian assistance to Afghanistan, to make itbetter country for its people. She further argued, "more than 3.5 milliongirls are enrolled in Primary and secondary schools and 100,000 women attenduniversities. 85,000 Afghan women work as teachers, lawyers, enforcementofficials and in healthcare". She staunchly criticised the peace dealbetween US and Taliban that didn't mention anything for the well being, safetyand human and gender rights of the women of Afghanistan.
I second what Farahnaz argued about thewomen rights in Afghanistan in the backdrop of peace deal because it would havebeen much better, comprehensive and inclusive peace deal if both the partieswould have ensured and mentioned about the basic human rights of the womenpopulation of the Afghanistan. Like many other places of the world, Afghanistantoo is known as one of the worst places when it comes to women affairs. Manypolitical scientists around the world are of the opinion that the permanentwithdrawal of US led forces in Afghanistan will be a catastrophe visa vis therights of Afghan women.
To make the Peace deal inclusive andsuccessful, it need to give Afghan women a full space in social, educationaland political matters. The Taliban regime must shun their conservative policiesand other religious fanaticism that only dis-empowered and downgraded thestatus of women in Afghanistan. In this technologically advanced and globalizedera it is not fair to confine women within the four walls of their homes. Both Taliban and the other civilian governments in Afghanistan mustendorse the resilient and the capacity of Afghan women in peace process andother peace building measures. Undoubtedly, neglecting them is a peace halfdone. Therefore, it is high time for the present civilian government ofAfghanistan and the Taliban militia to give a last farewell to foreign forcesand start a rebuilding and reconstruction of the Afghan state and play anactive part in the contemporary world affairs. The economic stability,employment opportunities to Afghan youth, mitigation of the poverty and theinclusive political establishments should be a main concerns in Afghanistan.Lastly, I would like to say that the recent peace deal mostly favoured the Taliban,now it is up-to them to bring peace in Afghanistan.