Muhammad Amir Rana
After assuming control of Kabul, the Taliban have apparently initiated a consultation process to form a new government. They are communicating to the world that their government will be inclusive and the rights of all Afghan citizens, including women and minorities, will be protected. But the world may remain sceptical unless the Taliban act on their pledges soon.
The Taliban view of the state is well known. But the recent international efforts of politically reconciling with the Taliban have put the latter in a changed environment. It will be a great challenge for the Taliban leadership to relate their ideological vision to the real-time political imperatives of inclusiveness and diversity. Some media reports hint that the Taliban may agree to the constitution of a ruling council to govern Afghanistan, but there is little information available about the composition and modus operandi of such a council. Nor is it clear whether the proposed council will take up the country’s affairs for an interim period or serve as a formal governing body. Most importantly, how will the council be made more inclusive to ensure that all stakeholders have a fair share in power?
At present, the world is concerned about the presence of terrorist networks in Afghanistan and the likelihood of human rights violations there. As the Taliban seek to reassure the world that the rights of women will be protected, they add ‘Sharia-compliant’. When they link rights with Sharia laws, many doubt their intentions. Some analysts might argue that the Taliban can negotiate with the world on human rights, transnational terrorist networks and related issues. But the hardest part for the Taliban would be to digest democracy. Their idea of a state built on a religious order could negate the concept of democracy. Therefore, the Taliban will not accept the existing ‘man-made’ constitution and electoral system. We also don’t know if they have any alternative framework in mind which can appeal to Afghans and build a consensus on the type of state system.
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