The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewPepe Escobar Archive
Will the Islamic World Save Afghanistan?
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
An earlier meeting between Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureishi. Photo Credit: The Cradle

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Afghanistan was at the heart of the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers representing 57 nations at the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).

It was up to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to deliver the keynote address to the session, held on 19 December at the Parliament House in Islamabad.

And he rose to the occasion: “If the world doesn’t act, this will be the biggest man-made crisis which is unfolding in front of us.”

Imran Khan was addressing not only representatives of the lands of Islam, but also UN officials, the proverbial “global financial institutions,” scores of NGOs, a smattering of US, EU and Japanese bureaucrats and, crucially, Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

No nation or organization has yet formally recognized the Taliban as the new, legitimate Afghan government. And quite a few are frankly more interested in engaging in an elaborate kabuki, pretending to deliver some sort of aid to the devastated Afghan economy after 20 years of US/NATO occupation instead of actually coordinating aid packages with Kabul.

The numbers are dire, and barely tell the full extent of the drama.

According to the UNDP, 22.8 million Afghan citizens – over half of Afghanistan – are facing food shortages, and soon, acute hunger; while no less than 97 percent of Afghans could soon fall under the poverty line. In addition, the World Food Programme stresses that 3.2 million Afghan children risk acute malnutrition.

Imran Khan emphasized that the OIC had a “religious duty” to help Afghanistan. As for the ‘hyperpower’ that stunned the world with its humiliating withdrawal show after 20 years of occupation, he was adamant: Washington must “delink” whatever grudges it may hold against the Taliban government from the destiny of 40 million Afghan citizens.

Imran Khan did ruffle a few Afghan feathers – starting with former President Hamid Karzai, when he observed that “the idea of human rights is different in every society,” referring to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan.

“The city culture is completely different from the culture in rural areas …,” he said. “We give stipends to the parents of the girls so that they send them to school. But in districts bordering Afghanistan, if we are not sensitive to the cultural norms, then they won’t send them to school despite receiving double the amount. We have to be sensitive about human rights and women rights.”

This was interpreted in a few quarters as Pakistani interference – part of a secret, devious strategic narrative. Not really. The prime minister was stating a fact, as anyone familiar with the tribal areas knows. Even Afghan Foreign Minister Muttaqi said the prime minister’s words were not “insulting”.

Imran Khan also observed that there are already over three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Moreover, Islamabad is sheltering more than 200,000 refugees who overstayed their visas. “They can’t go back. We are already suffering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are not in a position to deal with an influx of refugees.”

Would you ever trust NATO?

Then there’s the ultimate nut to crack: internal Taliban dynamics.

Diplomatic sources confirm off the record that it’s a non-stop struggle to convince different layers of the Taliban leadership to allow for some concessions.

Discussions with the NATO block are for, all practical purposes, dead: bluntly, there will be no help without visible concessions on girls’ education, women’s rights and the heart of the matter – on which everyone agrees, including the Russians, the Chinese and the Central Asians – a more inclusive government in Kabul.

So far, Taliban pragmatists – led by the Doha political office – have been on the losing end.

The OIC meeting at least came up with practical suggestions involving Islamic development banks. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was keen to emphasize the necessity of getting Kabul to access banking services.

This is the heart of the problem: there are no solid banking channels after NATO departed. So it’s technically impossible to transfer financial aid into the system and then distribute it across hard-hit provinces. Yet, once again, this is ultimately linked to those lofty western humanitarian aid pledges crammed with conditionalities.

In the end, Qureshi, together with the OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha, announced that a ‘humanitarian trust fund’ will be established as soon as possible, under the aegis of the Islamic Development Bank. The fund should be able to incorporate international partners, non-politicized westerners included.

Qureshi put out his bravest face, emphasizing that “the need is felt to forge a partnership between the OIC and the UN.”

Taha, for his part, was quite realistic. No funds whatsoever have been pledged so far for this new OIC humanitarian operation.

As Qureshi mentioned, there is one thing which Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan and other actors may decisively help with: investment “in the people of Afghanistan, bilaterally or through the OIC, in areas such as education, health and technical and vocational skills to the Afghan youth.”

So now it comes to the crunch – and fast. It’s up to the OIC to play the leading role in terms of alleviating Afghanistan’s dire humanitarian drama.

The official declaration calling on all OIC member states, Islamic financial institutions, donors, and unnamed ‘international partners’ to announce pledges to the humanitarian trust fund for Afghanistan will have to go way beyond rhetorical flourish.

At least, it’s all but certain that from now on, it will be up to the lands of Islam to decisively help Afghanistan. A bitter, defeated, vengeful, internally corroded NATO simply cannot be trusted.

Nobody today remembers that the Empire had concocted its own version of the New Silk Road over 10 years ago, announced by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Chennai in July 2001.

That was no ‘community of shared future for mankind,’ but a very narrow obsession on capturing energy resources – in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan; ‘stabilizing’ Afghanistan, as in perpetuating the occupation; giving a boost to India; and ‘isolating’ Iran.

The energy supply routes to the west should have gone through the Caspian Sea, and then across Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey – the three actors of the BTC pipeline – thus bypassing Russia, which was already then being depicted in the west as a ‘threat’.

ORDER IT NOW

All this is dead and buried – as post-occupation Afghanistan alongside the five Central Asian ‘stans’ are now back as one of the key foci of interest of the Russia–China strategic partnership: the heart of a Greater Eurasia spanning from Shanghai in the east to St. Petersburg in the west.

Yet to make it happen, it’s imperative that the OIC helps Afghanistan as much as the Taliban must help themselves.

(Republished from The Cradle by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Pakistan, Taliban 
Hide 23 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. No.
    No, Pepe.
    They will not help;
    not in any meaningfulnway.

    They will conspire to get that NATO boot back on Afganistan via banking and other forms of coersion.

    And why aren’t you telling the world how Erdogan saved the lira by agreeing to attack Russia?

    • Replies: @Emil Nikola Richard
  2. the Empire had concocted its own version of the New Silk Road over 10 years ago, announced by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Chennai in July 2001

    I make that 20 years ago.

  3. A123 says: • Website

    Then there’s the ultimate nut to crack: internal Taliban dynamics.

    Diplomatic sources confirm off the record that it’s a non-stop struggle to convince different layers of the Taliban leadership to allow for some concessions.

    This is the key problem. The term Taliban really applies to only one Pashtun sub faction. The concept of a cohesive functional Afghan national government is mostly rooted in failure of understanding.

    To properly visualize the scenario:
        — Look at a topographic map of Afghanistan.
        — Now think of Each Valley as a Separate Nation

     

     

    An “Islamic World Save” is not feasible. A competent nationwide effort would inevitably (actual or perceived) favour some groups over others. The likely outcome is armed conflict for ‘fair’ redistribution. A bungled effort could touch off a civil war.

    Certain groups outside of Afghanistan may provide assistance on tribal and/or ethnic lines. This is the best that can be hoped for as it works in the cultural milieu.

    Discussions with the NATO block are for, all practical purposes, dead

    NATO = U.S. & UK. The U.S. is now gone and the UK has no interest. NATO discussions are theatrical not meaningful. There is 0% chance of future NATO involvement. That door is not simply closed… It is enthusiastically nailed shut from both sides.

    🎄 Merry Christmas 🎄

    • Agree: El Dato
  4. Anon62 says:

    Before the US intervention there was a functioning state and no evidence of mass starvation.

    After 20 years of US and allied western intervention in Afghanistan there exists a state to which the interventionists object and there is evidence of mass starvation.

    I would suggest that the US and allied intervention therefore created the circumstance that leads, or which will lead, to mass starvation and consequent death.

    As the article makes clear this progression from mass starvation toward death is known the the US and allied interventionists.

    It is therefore reasonable that we at present witness an Afghanistan Holocaust, and if not Holocaust then Holodomor.

    It is therefore the case that the US and allied interventionists are the moral and ethical equivalent of the Nazi scourge and/or the Stalinist scourge.

  5. @The Mestizo

    Will the Islamic World Save Afghanistan?

    • LOL: nokangaroos, Anon62
  6. raga10 says:

    If Afghanis wanted to continue benefiting from Western aid all they had to do was not embrace Taliban the way they did. West is not obliged to continue supporting Afghanistan that rejected the West.

    As for the Islamic world, arguably it does have the responsibility to support fellow Muslims and I’m sure it will as soon as it figures out how to find its own arse without a flashlight…. although that might take a while.

  7. Will Muslims/OIC save Afghanistan ?

    Based on how they act ref the Palestinian Nakba, you know the answer;
    ref their current attitudes toward Lebanon, Syria … ditto and ditto.

    Btw did Naftali Bennett get Honorable Observer status at the OIC conference ?
    Did delegates give him repeated standing ovations, like in USA ?

  8. No matter how much you throw at Afghanistan, it all winds up in the offshore accounts of the corrupt few. It NEVER makes it to those they claim are hungry, ever. Since that’s the case, scroomall. We enriched enough grifters over there. Airlift rice, porkers and cooking oil like Air America, but handing over billions more should be a non-starter.

  9. If the raghead terrorists want wampum, they can sell off some of the 85 billion dollars worth of military equipment and vehicles Fraudsident biden “gifted” them.

  10. El Dato says:

    I wonder whether Europe will be in any mood to export any food whatsoever in about 6 months.

    No gas, no electricity => no fertilizer => no growing of Euro-tomatoes and Euro-salads and all that stuff.

    Additionally:

    Treasury Expands Sanctions Against Belarusian Regime with Partners and Allies

    INCREASED SANCTIONS ON THE POTASH SECTOR OF THE BELARUS ECONOMY

    OFAC is designating additional entities to limit the financial benefits that the Lukashenka regime derives from potash exports. These designations follow OFAC’s August 9, 2021 designation of the major potash entity in Belarus, the Belarusian SOE Belaruskali OAO.

    Completely forgetting that potash is a major input for food production and Belarus is 3rd producer worldwide behind Canada and Russia.

    Brandon-brand food prices will be going up.

  11. TG says:

    When the United States invaded Afghanistan, the population was about 20 million. With the highest fertility rate outside Africa, the population has since exploded to about 40 million.

    The United States did not in any way try to ‘develop’ Afghanistan. The trillions wasted on that country mostly went to politically connected defense contractors with a bit skimmed off by corrupt local officials. What the United States did do, was feed this burgeoning population without making any attempt to ensure that the Afghani economy could support it.

    In the next 20 years, the population is slated to double again to 80 million, yet the Afghanis can’t even feed half of their current population. Now the United States has suddenly cut off food aid, and frozen external bank accounts blocking imports. It is hard to believe that our elites don’t know what this means.

    There are currently tens of millions (and counting) of Afghanis desperate to flee, and it won’t be from the Taliban, it will be from crushing misery and hunger. Which our elites are happy to exploit.

    “We need to rescue our loyal allies!” – what a scam. There were perhaps 200 Afghani interpreters worthy of coming to the United States, but many of these will be left to rot, because our elites care about them only insofar as they serve the propaganda purpose of flooding the United States with yet another horde of impoverished people.

    The United States is now continuously operating cargo flights where a thousand people are shoveled in like cattle, given blank visas, and then dumped in the United States. Rinse, Lather, Repeat. Some of these people will be amongst our ‘loyal’ allies that only joined the Afghani army for a paycheck, often shot US soldiers in the back, and abandoned their posts at first chance. Most of these ‘loyal’ allies will have had nothing to do with the United States, many of these ‘loyal’ allies will have fought on the other side, and many of these ‘loyal’ allies are not even Afghanis, because nobody’s checking and the entire purpose is to maximize the number of warm bodies flooding into the country.

    And these cargo flights are not going to stop – although the media coverage of them will. I expect that these flights will be expanded to neighboring countries and, again, anyone will be let in.

    Certainly, there are politicians eager to shift the electoral balance by importing likely Democratic voters, and there are people who hate the white American working class and relish a chance to attack and dispossess them, but the prime driver here is greed. To force population growth upwards, to drive wages and living standards down, and rents and profits up, because nobody beats the law of supply and demand.

    Cheap Labor Uber Alles.

    • Agree: nokangaroos
    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
  12. anonymous[204] • Disclaimer says:

    If the Afghans are smart, a questionable notion indeed, they will all embark on the journey to the lands of those who caused their suffering… to the lands of the euRapeans.

  13. Why just not let them die off?

    All.

    • Troll: showmethereal
    • Replies: @nadim
  14. nadim says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I’m sure you are going to be among them idiot.

    US and it colonies where destroyed Afghanistan must pay and the civilians of these countries
    who are silent go to hell.

  15. @TG

    It’s not just cheap labor; it’s cheap consumers. Bring that desperate, marginally functional Afghan family over here. Get them logged into Facebook and Amazon and directions to the nearest Walmart. Load them up with gummint gibmedats. It makes no difference to the owners and managers of those businesses whether those dollars get spent by a dozen barely-literate Afghans or a materials engineer from Germany. In fact, the fewer astute Germans looking around and noticing how everything’s becoming a giant Ponzi scheme they’re expected to support, the better.

    About 10 years ago, I read a story about Pepsico partnering with USAID to provide protein paste so West Africa can continue to maintain its 6.2 TFR.

    Pepsico, literally growing its own consumers and nourishing them with its patented soy goop.

    We are at Satanic levels of SCALE at this point.

    • Thanks: Alden
    • Replies: @showmethereal
  16. Alden says:

    The royal family of the UK led by the princes Charles and William are now devoting themselves to feeding the starving Afghanis. It appears that since September 11 when the Americans left in a hurry and December 11, every bit of food, every grain of rice, every goat and chicken, every ounce of flour every bit of food disappeared in Afghanistan.

    And it is up to the royals to save the Afghanis from starvation this winter.

    • Replies: @Malla
  17. Mehool Bhai here, I do not praise China much (not much to praise there) but for this China should be praised.
    Harris Sultan is of Pakistani descent. These are his videos, he is an ex-Muslim.


    Chinese Walking on Muhammad and Allah’s Names


    China Converting Mosques into Toilets


    China Deletes the Quran App

    You need one form of brutality and brutal regime to crush other brutal ideologies. For this I praise the Chinese. We in India cannot do this because of our stoopid sickular Anglo Saxon colonial Constitution, which we will change very soon for getting Hindu Rastra.
    —–Regards by Mehool Bhai

    • Replies: @Malla
  18. @The Anti-Gnostic

    More than that – they were hoping to find a subservient group to do their bidding to thwart Eurasian integration and stymie China and Russia at the same time.

  19. Malla says:
    @Alden

    The royal family of the UK led by the princes Charles and William are now devoting themselves to feeding the starving Afghanis.

    Anglos are crazy. These people will hate Anglos anyways. Let them be. All that moral superiority and charity leads to hell.

    • Agree: Miro23
  20. Malla says:
    @Mehool Mehta

    Typical Hinduvadi Indian nationalist crackpot gujju shit from Bombay.
    Harris Sultan speaks out about the dark side of Islamic societies. This attracted a lot of Hindus (not surprising) all enjoying the expose of Islam with glee. Some of them even invited Harris Sultan to Hinduism but he later found out that Hindu fundamentalists (like you) are not that different and are equally intolerant as the Muslims he rejected and left behind. And now even Sikhs are as fundamentalists. So he found out Hindu fundamentalism and Islamic fundamentalism are actually very similar to each other. LOL

    Here he laughs at a mullah debating a Hindu sage dude. Both are equally ridiculous. What do you have to say about this mefool Bhai???

    I think he is a Dawkinian, Dawkin’s follower.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  21. Anonymous[609] • Disclaimer says:
    @Malla

    This guy was on another thread whining about anti-Hindu racism and looking for sympathy about Muslim destruction of Hindu temples while laughing at white nations being burned down.
    https://www.unz.com/jtaylor/our-rulers-can-be-as-barbaric-as-the-taliban/#comment-5078608

    And when someone pointed out that Hindu nationalists are bringing low-caste slave labor to the US, he claimed that Hindus learned this caste discrimination from the Muslims and the British.

    Are all Hindu nationalists this delusional? Or are they all just low-IQ whiners who think people will buy into their “we are the greatest victims ever” nonsense?

    Also, I wonder if he has an answer for why Hindu nationalists are increasingly attacking Christians and churches.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/22/world/asia/india-christians-attacked.html

    • Replies: @Malla
  22. Malla says:
    @Anonymous

    Sorry for my late reply.

    anti-Hindu racism and looking for sympathy about Muslim destruction of Hindu temples while laughing at white nations being burned down.

    He is a typical insensitive Hinduvadi crackpot. Gujrati mercantiles are very Hindu nationalist and pro-Modi, solid Modi supporters as Modi is Gujrati himself. He was very insensitive there. But he does have some points, Western deep state NGOs have supported some Left winged folks in India, however crackpot Hinduvadis like Mefool hype things up. However the idiot makes the mistake of not differentiating in between the deep states of the West and the common people of the West. The idiot is cheering for his own enemies when he is laughing at the destruction of Western heritage. He is one of those stupid types of Hinduvadis (unfortunately the majority), however the few smarter Hinduvadis have realised that the right in the West and Hindus have the same destructive enemies and are actually supporting the Alt-Right in the West. However Hindutva will take India back to the dark ages while White Nationalism will actually save the West.
    He is also partly correct about Islamic brutality on Hindus in the past but again like typical Hinduvadis he hypes things up. Islamic rule in my opinion was 50%-50%, 50% positive and 50% negative, there was destruction but the Muslims also introduced many new novel ideas into India, they were brutal but many were tolerant. Hinduvadis hide the positive tolerant part and concentrate on only the negatives. but sometimes, I do not blame them, their enemies, the Congress, Islamic scholars, Marxists and Liberals have doen the exact mirror opposite lying, concentrate on the positives and hide the negatives, these Hinduvadis are doing the mirror opposite propaganda. Anyways are Hinduvadis like Mehool any different than the Islamic apologists like KA, Barr and some others on this site in their lying?

    he claimed that Hindus learned this caste discrimination from the Muslims and the British.

    This is typical Hinduvadi lie which I have debunked many times. Nobody should fall for this propaganda. The hatred Brahmins (both Congress and Hindutva) have for the British is because the British liberated and emancipated the lower castes. But old habits die hard.
    Hence also the hatred for the Christian missionaries and attacks on them with the excuse of conversion. The Christian population in India has remained constant for the last century. The truth is Christian missionaries help the poor and disenfranchised lower castes and tribals and bring education and healthcare for them.

    Anyways he is just a typical Indian nationalist too. Hindutva is Indian Nationalism on steroids but defining Nation on Hindu terms. His Indian nationalism pig headed mentality is no different than the Chinese Wumaos on this site like ddan, showmetheral, Joe wong, deep thought etc… When I came across Wumaos, I was like, they are just like our Nationalists. LOL both deserve each other. But much to the chargin of the Chinese Wumaos, Indians believe 1000% that China is a more Imperialist country than Britain, British 2.0. And the Government riling up Indian nationalists against China is no different than Chinese leaders riling up Chinese Nationalists against Japan even before WW2. Indian Nationalists are the Chinese Wumao’s karma. LOL.

  23. Anonymous[177] • Disclaimer says:

    Ha – you are right, the these guys do sound a lot like the Wumao! The only difference I see is that the Chinese guys seem a lot less whiny, the Hindu nationalists sound pathetic.

    Anyway – thanks for the insights and I’m glad you offer a counter perspective to these guys otherwise people would think all Hindus think that way because of how loud and whiny they are.h

    • Agree: Malla
Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
$
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Pepe Escobar Comments via RSS
PastClassics
Analyzing the History of a Controversial Movement
Becker update V1.3.2
The Shaping Event of Our Modern World
The Surprising Elements of Talmudic Judaism
How America was neoconned into World War IV