Afghanistan Fears as last resistance falters : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Fears as last resistance falters COMMENTARY BY ZAHID HUSSEIN THE veteran commander, Ahmed Shah Masood, has been the last bulwark of resistance against the Taleban militia, which controls 90 per cent of Afghanistan. He held together the fractious opposition Northern Alliance defending bastions in northern and central Afghanistan. His absence is likely to result in its disintegration, opening the way for the Taleban to sweep through the rest of the country.

Afghanistan under the sole control of the extremist Islamic fundamentalist regime would have serious regional repercussions, increasing the threat of radical Islam spreading to neighbouring countries.

A prime concern for the international community is terrorism emanating from Afghanistan. Already the country is a haven for Islamic extremists from elsewhere.

From his base in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, the Saudi terrorist, would pose a greater threat. His power has apparently grown through his links with hardline military commanders in the Taleban leadership and his influence has been further strengthened by their increasing dependence on Arab fighters. With Pakistanis, they constitute a crucial part of the Taleban war machine. Most observers expect the Taleban to adopt a more defiant stance against United Nations demands to extradite bin Laden.

Foreign involvement in the Afghan conflict would increase if the Taleban forces succeeded in taking opposition-held territory. Iran, Russia and former Soviet Central Asian states supply weapons and other military assistance to the opposition.

A further danger would be escalating tension between a Shia Muslim Iran and a hardline Sunni Muslim Afghanistan, which could develop into open conflict.

Russia, which accuses the Taleban of supporting Chechen Muslims fighting against its troops and which fears the spread of Islamic fundamentalism to the Central Asian states, plays a crucial role in enabling Iranian military aid to reach the opposition forces. It also provides direct assistance and support.

Iranian involvement in the Afghan conflict has deepened, not only because of sectarian and regional interests but also because of widening economic concerns. Tehran and Moscow have been compelled by their mutual fear of total Taleban control over Afghanistan to join hands, despite differing long-term interests.

Washington shares Moscow’s concern at the spread of Islamic fundamentalism and the prospect of Afghanistan becoming a centre for international terrorism, but it remains suspicious of Russia’s use of the Afghan issue to consolidate its military presence in Central Asia.

Pakistan is one of the three countries that recognises the Taleban regime. Declaring the survival of Taleban rule to be crucial to its security and regional interests, it allegedly provides Kabul with military aid, despite UN sanctions.,,3-2001313908,00.html

-- Martin Thompson (, September 10, 2001


Someone should have paid more attention to this

-- Cherri (, September 11, 2001.

Note this come from the English press. They and the Aussies are much more up on this subect than the U.S media. Sad.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 11, 2001.

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