A recent report by American intelligence agencies estimates that the Afghan government could fall to the Taliban within six months to a year of U.S. withdrawal from the country. This report, published by the Wall Street Journal, is contrary to earlier, more optimistic estimates by American intelligence agencies that had predicted that the Afghan government could sustain for at least two years after U.S. withdrawal. These estimates have mainly been revised because of the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban have made several significant territorial gains. For example, the Taliban have taken control over five of the major border crossings with its neighbouring countries - Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, China and Pakistan. The Taliban claim that they are in control of around 85% of Afghan territory. Some other sources, however, say that they control nearly a third of Afghanistan's approximately 400 districts.
Recently, U.S. troops fled the Bagram Airfield in the darkness of the night. The Bagram Airfield was the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan, and home to tens of thousands of its soldiers. However, despite this the U.S. did not inform the Afghan government of its departure fearing that its fleeing troops might be attacked by the Taliban forces, were they to find out. Nor was the U.S. interested about the media catching wind of their flight, lest they record them fleeing as they did when the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam.
It had been clear for a long time that the U.S. had failed in its mission to destroy the resistance - which has plenty of support and participation from local tribes - against it. The U.S. had itself conceded the inability of its puppet government in Kabul to maintain its control over several regions of the country. Therefore, the U.S. decided to pursue the diplomatic channel with the Taliban, hoping to achieve through it what it had failed to achieve through war. However, it still failed to achieve its desired setup because the negotiating team only represented a faction of the Afghan Mujahideen and not all of them.
The U.S., however, does not want its departure to mean the end of its influence in the region. Instead, it wants the government in Kabul to retain control over some of the important areas of the country. So, the U.S. does not care if Afghanistan ends up in the same situation as Iraq, where no single group controls the entire country and where the sincere people have been forced out of power, while the puppet regime in Baghdad continues to serve and protect U.S. interests. Furthermore, even though Iraq’s government is not able to exert its control over the entire country, it is still able to secure Iraq’s oil wells, for U.S. companies to exploit. Additionally, it is also able to ensure that those who oppose the U.S. - whether they are from among the Muslims or the Ba'ath Party - are kept out of power. A similar situation in Afghanistan would be acceptable to the U.S., which it would use to stop Russia and China from fulfilling their objectives in Afghanistan.
Therefore, the U.S. wants Afghanistan’s sensitive areas such as Kabul’s Green Zone, its airport and supply routes and several other important centers to be protected from the Taliban. To fulfill these objectives, the U.S. wants to use the influence of other countries like Turkey and Pakistan. Hence, the U.S. is continuing to pressure Pakistan, for example, via the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which has retained Pakistan on its grey list for at least another one year. While, on the one hand, the Pakistani government has publicly refused to allow any U.S. bases in its country, on the other hand, it is continuing to uphold and openly support the 2001 agreement with the U.S. regarding the Air Lines of Communication (ALOC) and Ground Lines of Communication (GLOC). The reality is that Pakistan’s loyal leaders have continued to support the U.S. in its time of need. It is because of Pakistan’s facilitation that the U.S. was able to occupy Afghanistan in the first place. And it was primarily Pakistan that made the negotiations between the U.S. and Taliban possible. Even during this period of U.S. withdrawal, Pakistan is exerting all of its efforts in creating a favourable political setup for the U.S. in Afghanistan. The recent visit by the Prime Minister to Uzbekistan was also a part of this effort, especially given that the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan had only recently returned from a visit to the U.S. And then on July 16 in Tashkent, a quadrilateral diplomatic platform involving Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and America was announced that will work to fulfill these objectives.
For the past seventy years, we have witnessed ourselves being used as a fuel to the U.S. plans in this region. We have also witnessed how the U.S. was able to defeat the Soviet Union using our power and how it continued to keep pressure on India until it was able to pull it in its own camp. The U.S. has been able to use our influence and power all the way up to Central Asia. But what has all of this resulted in? Our country has been split into two parts, India has taken away Siachen and three of our rivers from us, and China has conquered Aksai Chin. Our tribal areas, in particular, and the entire country, in general, have been rocked by violence. And when the Hindu state occupied Kashmir we failed to act, and in fact are now moving towards an official surrender. So if the U.S. is able to use our power to execute all of its plans in the region for its colonialist gains, then why can we not use our own power to please Allah (SWT) and for the benefit of the Muslims in this region? After the U.S.’s humiliating defeat in Afghanistan, it is difficult to imagine a situation where it would attack this region with its forces again. Is it then not time for Pakistan to step up, and eliminate U.S. influence in this region once and for all?