Afghanistan- An Orphan State

Prof. Verinder Singh Manhas (Retd)
The Nation State of Afghanistan has become orphaned due to civil-ethnic war within itself. The entire world comprising of developed, developing and underdeveloped countries has left Afghanistan on its own religio-ethnic constraints. The country has had the Great Game and The New Great Game turning Afghanistan from a corridor of travel to a politico-religio game making. The country has ceased to be a viable state due to an ethnic mystery known neither within the Afghan borderland or the outside world. This has to be known through a lot of writing by travels on historical accounts written by Ibn Batuta and Abul Fazl. All this depicts Afghanistan as ethnically a mixture of tribes, clans and sub clans whether Shias or Sunni muslims. This ethnic mixture starts from the historical times of Nadir Shah’s assassination in 1747. The Safavids of Persia (Modern Iran) also ceased. The Mughals under Baber, Humayun and Akbar got control of eastern Afghanistan including the Kyber Pass. This brought about socio-economic and geo-political independence of Kandhar, Herat and Lower Helmand Valley from which the Ghilzais (a sub clan of Pashtoons) emerged. Kandhar now becomes the centre of Afghan ethnics extending from Herat to Arghandob. Ahmed Shah became the head of Ghilzais and assumed the title Noor-e-Durran or the Pearl of Doorans. This historical account reveals the birth of Taliban (Tarab to know).
The agricultural part of western Afghanistan turned from the rudimentary agriculture to opium cultivation thereby turning the Silk route (The Great Game) into the opium route (The New Great Game).The highly complex relationship of political power and authority established by the Khalq and Parcham through the Communist and Non-Communist or Sunni muslims and Shia muslims collapsed making the Nation State of Afghanistan an orphan after Dost Muhhamad. The Afghans or Pashtoons have become no longer nationalist. The ethinicity has been cut across vertically and horizontally through groups, tribes, clans and sub clans. The grazing grounds of Pashtoons has turned into opium grounds. The economic and social structure has totally changed. The brutal assassination of Hafizul-ul-la-Amin, Babrack Karnal and Gulbudin Hikmatyar resulted in a socio-ethnic- political migration into the neighbours of Afghanistan.
The warlords of money, opium trade and tribal authority has made Afghanistan into the ethnic orphan. The Islamic revolution in Afghanistan would have effect on Pakistan also bringing a total change from Islam to Radical Islam with impact on women education, music, fine arts and culture. There is no sign of agreement in Kabul between two factions – the Khalqis and Parchams. What is required is a ceasefire in the central government and demilitarisation of areas around Kabul and high degree of autonomy under ethnic factions. The future of Afghanistan as an orphan depends on its immediate neighbours. China would like transformation of Muslim community in the Xingiang province of south western areas. Russia would like to have a similar transformation of Muslims in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Badakshan for a smooth oil pipelines to Iran and the Arab world. In India also the ethnic- religio change in Afghanistan would also impact Pakistan occupied Kashmir or LOC and India.