China (for protecting BRI after Dasu) may install ‘Chinese democracy’ in Afghanistan by replacing CCP by ‘Afghan Islamic clergy’. By Hem Raj Jain
29 Jul 2021
The Afghans who are wishing & praying for the victory of Afghan government forces over Taliban are living in fool’s paradise if they are thinking that recent airstrike by the USA on Taliban in support of Afghan forces ( as reported at https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2021-07-22/us-launched-several-airstrikes-in-support-of-afghan-forces ) and visit of Abdullah Abdulla and Afghan Army Chief to India for getting military support from India (as reported at https://theprint.in/diplomacy/abdullah-abdullah-meets-jaishankar-as-kabul-plans-massive-retaliation-against-taliban/701756/ ) are going to bring the victory to Afghan forces.
Other than CPEC the Dasu Hydropower Project is part of China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI), a global effort to invest in infrastructure that is even greater in scope than the Marshall Plan, the United States’ program to rebuild Europe after World War II hence 12 (including 9 Chinese) killed and 41 injured in a terrorist attack at Dasu (Pakistan) on July 14 (as mentioned at https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/world/asia/pakistan-bus-explosion-blast.html (which is directly linked to on-going civil war in Afghanistan) is bound to force China to reorient its policies about Afghanistan, as given below:-
(1)- Presently battle lines are clearly drawn in Afghanistan. The USA is supporting Afghan Govt (also by way of giving billions of dollars to it for fighting Taliban) and India too, which may give military assistance to the Ghani government. But there will be no boots on ground by the USA & India and without their boots on ground, Afghan government can’t win against Taliban.
(2)- Iran is supporting the Taliban because the USA is supporting the Ghani-government and now Iran is part of BRI. Pakistan is supporting Taliban because (i)- Pakistan created Taliban (ii)- Taliban is mainly Pashtun based and the population of Pashtuns in Pakistan is double the population of Pashtuns in Afghanistan (iii)- India is supporting Afghan government which as per Pakistan is creating problems (from the soil of Afghanistan) in Pakistan (mainly through Balochistan) under the watch of Afghan government. China will support Taliban because it wants to protect BRI not only in Afghanistan but also in region around Afghanistan and presently there is only one hope of protecting BRI namely through bringing Taliban government in Afghanistan
(3)- Presently it makes matters easier for China because in order to protect BRI and its other economic interests in Afghanistan, China has to do only the following (without China directly getting involved militarily, with boots on ground, in Afghanistan) :-
(i)- In view of failure of ‘liberal Western democracy’ in Asia [where due to lack of commitment on the part of the leader of the West the USA for it, the USA has failed to get it installed in many countries and has failed to bring prosperity (no where as in China) in Asian countries] the Chinese model is already gaining respect & acceptance in Asian countries. Hence China has to merely install ‘authoritarian Chinese democracy’ in Afghanistan by replacing ‘Chinese Communist Party’ by ‘Islamic clergy of Afghanistan’.
(ii)- Due to BRI and otherwise the Afghan border sharing countries of Central Asia are already under influence of China hence China can easily mobilize Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to ask their ethnicities in Afghanistan to support the Taliban. As far as Iran which (after severe US-sanctions by Trump-administration ) is exporting oil to China [and Russia (after Western sanctions due to Crimea controversy) is also doing the same] hence both Iran and Russia are nowadays in Chinese camp and will do about Afghanistan whatever China would ask them to do it.
(iii)- Pakistan will gladly toe Chinese line for supporting Taliban. As for the Pashtun problem about the Durand line between Afghanistan and Pakistan, China has to ask the Pakistan government and Taliban government to adopt the practice which presently is between the USA & Canada where people can go to the other side without any problem.
(iv)- China has to ask the ruling Islamic clergy of Afghanistan not to be as medieval and barbaric as they were before 9/11 (especially regarding women and religious minorities) which should not be difficult for China because Taliban (as per their public statements and interviews to media) are already showing a willingness to do it.
(4)- As far as Indian boots on ground if these are provided by India (with the approval of the USA) then certainly it can be a crucial factor in the victory of Afghan forces over Taliban (as mentioned at https://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/opinion-details/3854 or
https://chauthiduniya.com/india-should-warn-taliban-of-military-help-to-secular-afghan-govt-if-doha-other-peace-talks-fail/ ) But neither Afghan government is going for secular constitution nor ruling dispensation of India is interested in it due to two reasons (i)- India avoids military involvement especially boots on ground (ii)- Present Indian government led by Modi of Hindutva forces does not believe in secularism and one day itself may adopt ‘authoritarian Chinese democracy’ ( if continue to lose support among large part of Indians) while keeping the façade of present democracy intact and by merely replacing ‘Chinese Communist party’ with RSS by constitutionally accommodating it in ‘National Advisory Council (NAC) as was the case during Congress led government (where NAC headed by Sonia Gandhi was the real government).
(5)- Otherwise (without US active support) India is in no position to interfere militarily in Afghanistan against the wishes & interest of China because China can always arm twist India either by nudging Pakistan to hot-up border / LoC in J&K or by China itself to hot-up its long border including the existing face-off at Eastern Ladakh where China is troubling India militarily since early 2020 as reported at https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/border-row-china-india-clash-again-with-pla-back-in-eastern-ladakh-121071301363_1.html )
(6)- As far as about 3 hundred thousand personnel in Afghan force which as per Prez Biden should be enough to protect Afghan government, this is neither here nor there. Despite these 3 hundred thousands, Taliban could get impressive military gains on ground to the extent a COMPLETE TALIBAN TAKEOVER is possible (as per Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, as reported at
https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-top-military-commander-says-taliban-may-yet-take-control-of-afghanistan/2311056 ) . Moreover the present claim of Taliban that large numbers of security forces of Afghanistan are joining Taliban (either by surrender or otherwise) may seem to be a boast but it will become a reality if China is perceived to be backing Taliban.
(7)- The Afghans who are putting their hope on Afghan government should understand that for the supporters of Ghani government namely India and the USA (now after withdrawal of the forces of the USA, NATO and allies from Afghanistan) it is merely a time -pass in Afghanistan where as for China (due to BRI etc) it is the question of life & death in Afghanistan. Moreover what China (an emergent global power) will do in Afghanistan in order to protect its vital interests, is anybody's guess.
(8)- As for the equation of Taliban with China, the Taliban have already said publicly that they will not only protect economic interests of China in Afghanistan when come to power but will also not raise the issue of human rights of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang province of China.
(9)- As for the financial aid of the USA to Afghan government, of course the Taliban government will not get it but no country can function properly or even survive on the basis of eternal foreign aid or charity. As far as economic progress of Afghanistan is concerned, presently China is also quite capable of collaborating with Afghanistan and its Taliban government for ensuring economic progress of Afghanistan.
Therefore due to US-slack-commitment to 'liberal Western democracy', China (in the interest of protecting BRI etc after Dasu terrorist attack ) may install ‘authoritarian Chinese democracy’ in Afghanistan by replacing 'Chinese Communist Party' by ‘Islamic clergy of Afghanistan’