The never ending war between U.S. and Afghanistan started with the 9/11 incident when Osama Bin Laden authorised attacks on the twin towers of the New York city in U.S. This attack claimed around 3000 lives and marked a dark spot in the history of the world.
U.S. President George Bush at that time demanded that Taliban, (the military organization that took control of Afghanistan from the early 1995 to set up an Islamic state), either deliver Bin Laden or otherwise risk U.S. military actions.
The Taliban, who were ruling Afghanistan at that time did not accept this proposal and later on, in October, 2001, U.S. planes started bombing Taliban forces and since then, this war is continuing.
Osama Bin Laden escaped to Pakistan on 16th December, 2001 but the Taliban forces came back to fight against U.S. forces. Taliban kept fighting against Afghan government and the American troops.
Year 2004, Afghan president Hamid Karzai and U.S. President George Bush signed an agreement giving the U.S. forces the access to all Afghan military facilities in return for military equipments and training.
President Bush promised to reconstruct Afghanistan but only provided 38 Billion U.S. Dollars in ten years, between 2001 and 2009. Meanwhile, the Afghan government led by Karzai also failed. Its corruption and unpopularity resulted in the situation where common man was looking up to Taliban to give an incorrupt and clean government.
However, U.S. forces captured and killed Bin Laden who was hiding in Pakistan in 2011. His capture resulted in Obama’s Annoucement of withdrawing much of his troops from Afghanistan by the end of the same year. But this never happened and U.S. – Taliban peace talks never worked out.
Then President Trump came to power and in his election campaign, he also promised that he would withdraw U.S. troops by the year 2020. He promised this because he also knew that this decades long war was pinching financially even U.S. very badly.
U.S. – Afghanistan war has also involved the outside powers. The most important power in this regard is Pakistan. It has played an inevitable and active role, also called as “negative role” by the major powers, in Afghan affairs for decades.
Afghan government and commanders attribute their insurgency powers to Pakistan’s support only. Many militant safe refuge or havens have been identified by U.S. in Pakistan and the U.S. officials consider this to be a threat to the security of Afganistan.
However, the Pakistan officials in this matter, contend that Taliban have only increased territorial control in Afghanistan and it has nothing to do with their country. Still, the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan are complicated because of the presence of million of Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
Talking about India, our country’s major interest in Afghanistan is mainly because of India’s diplomatic presence in Afghanistan. India has also been the largest regional contributor for the reconstruction of Afganistan.
India also offered intelligent services and other forms of support for the coalition forces during the 2001 U.S. invasion. Other interests in this war is largely because of the regional rivalry between India and Pakistan. Even Russia and Iran have been great contributors as both the nations were against the Taliban governance in Afghanistan.
After decades of negotiation, U.S. government and Taliban signed a peace agreement on 29th February, 2020 and set up a time for the withdrawal of all the U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
However, despite this new agreement, there is still no cease fire in place. Throughout 2018 and 2019 and even this year, till this month of 2020, violence is continuing as U.S. has increased the air strikes whereas Taliban is also carrying out attacks on Afghanistan government, Afghan forces and civilians.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide and despite a peace agreement in February 2020, U.S.- Afghanistan war still rages on. “It is a warzone, so corona virus does not come here.”, was the statement of an Afghan soldier.
This pandemic was a chance for the cooperation from both the sides to stop engaging in war and help in fighting against the virus. But unluckily, war is still going on and one can just wonder what would be a more serious situation than this pandemic to put an end to the war.
It is anticipated that if the U.S. withdraws, it would just lead to the collapse of Afghan government and perhaps, the re-establishment of th Taliban. Still, even according to United Nations, the only ray of hope is the expectations of a mutual agreement between Taliban and U.S. , only possible by the withdrawal of U.S. forces and Commencement of “Intra- Afghan” peace talks i.e. between Afghan government and Taliban.
Recently, on 19th May 2020, again President Trump has cleared that U.S. had never really fought this war for winning, except the early years of last two decades and they are hoping that this peace deal does not last like the earlier ones.
AFGHANISTAN REFUSES TO TAKE LOAN FROM CHINA
Earlier, Afghanistan – China or Sino – Afghan relations were really good and friendly. Throughout, history both the country allied and were helping each other. They had good trade relations date back since with the Han Dynasty with profitable Silk Road. During the cold war, China helped Afghanistan in recovery and at the bad times of world war 2. They provide economic-aid and helped Afghanistan in developing.
They supported Afghanistan not only economically but also politically. Political interference was limited but economic progress was extended. China was the largest trading partner. Now, in this pandemic situation countries had realized China is not only spreading the virus in one way. They are trapping countries economically and their masterstroke plan to grip them is running successfully. China has spread the debt virus all around.
China has targeted 138 countries in a project Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The project is 1 trillion dollars. This project agenda which is now known to everyone is to get in power and access. The idea formulated to trap them is to lend money to different countries for BRI projects.
These Chinese financial institutions first lend money and the construction contracts are given to Chinese firms. The tactics they followed are very simple as Chinese companies receive much of the proceeding of loans and Chinese will make them suffer by delaying contracts or by canceling them.
They decided to practice this for that long that the countries debt increase they left with no other option. The host country will end up like this, the country will sink like a ship. It has been observed China is running this lending operation for so many years. The current scenario which made Myanmar also to boycott loans from China. Myanmar currently stands with 10 billion dollars in which 40 % is owed to China. Since 1998 China is lending loans to Mayanmar.
They have made them in loss completely as they are liable to pay five hundred million dollars per year, including principal and high-interest rates. In this whole situation, it is evidentiary and auditor general also pointed out that China grants loans at higher interest rates than the other financial institutions more than the IMF and World Bank. Also compelled that China has done the same with other 138 countries.
China has made Myanmar this much busy in paying back loans that they have messed up and cannot focus on anything. Even the Financial Analyst said them free money machines because China has paid off all their debts. China cleared all their debts in the last 18 years and they are so good at negotiating that their 4 billion dollars are relieved by low-income countries.
Consequences faced by countries if they repeatedly continue taking loans. The countries will not be able to recover due to piled up amounts. This will led the countries in a desperate situation when repayments will begin countries will try to continue with borrowings from any international agencies.
This cannot be stagnant like this all the time. In the next few years, this will be more dangerous for the countries the accumulation of debt will bring the country in depression state. China signed an agreement with Pakistan likewise when their repayment for CPEC started. Pakistan started importing lots of items from China as they didn’t impose import duties. The country relied on China and they make other countries spineless.
Afghanistan and Mayanmar have taken the first step by refusing loans from China. Afghanistan national debt is so high that President Ashraf Ghani has declined to take a loan only grants are acceptable and he had announced. China still insists to give loan to Kabul but they have seen Trump has already said he wanted to exit Afghanistan and China is trying hard to take CPEC into Afghanistan.
Also, the Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi agrees for 33 agreements. It has been seen Myanmar has already suffered therefore they have decided not to deal with them and repeat their mistakes. Both countries took the best decisions.
If a country gets in the trap of debt virus then Country may rely on the following to increase their revenue to repay their debt and the country may find it tough to repay the amount. Consequences will be-Attract foreign direct investment to set up industries.
To stabilize the industrial sector. To establish themselves again. Make coordinated efforts to increase the volume of exports by diversifying product mix, setting new markets, revising free trade agreement.
The world market is nothing to be happy especially for an unstable state. In those countries, it would be a herculean task to find skilled labor. It is difficult to educate or to make skilled people.
It may take time. China might take advantage of the country and set up things according to their desires. China prefers its personnel in place of the host country.
Therefore, the economy will be crashed. To avoid the situation where China in the future will seize strategic assets in place of loan payments. Finally, a step has been taken by Afghanistan and their decision is right. At this moment it is necessary to criticize things that may favor China.
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