In the latest initiative taken by powerful states to settle the problem of Afghanistan a plan has been carved, which as they see it, might prove helpful in the peaceful settlement of disputes currently confronting Afghanistan.
Code-named Plan C, the plan is devised by British Conservative MP and Foreign Office aide Tobias Ellwood. It is important to enlighten ourselves regarding the nature, implications and loopholes in the plan.
What is Plan C all about?
As per the salient features of this plan, Afghanistan could be carved into eight separate ‘kingdoms’ based around the "economic hubs" of Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif, Kunduz, Jalalabad, Khost and Bamyan. The areas would be administered by means of a council representing different ethnic groups and overseen by one or more foreign countries.
Hamid Karzai and Plan C
Even though the plan has not been streamlined as yet, the current Afghan government seems to be enjoying the new handling and supervision of affairs. Just ahead of the September 10 ceremony marking the Afghan government’s control of the US detention center in Bagram, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced that he will appoint Asadullah Khalid as chief of Afghanistan’s main intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security (NDS).
It is important to mention here that Khalid is no garden variety spy chief. He has been accused of running an unauthorized prison in Kandahar where torture was a routine. Moreover, the appointment is also alarming since the NDS already has a long and well-document history of human rights violations in the form of torturing detainees by beating them with rubber hoses, electric shocks and twisting of genitals among other means.
A worth noting point in Plan C is about creating and appointing a prime minister. Before any such action materializes and relegates Karzai’s position, the president wants all his cronies to be commanding top notch positions.
Flawed plans for peace in the region
Senior government sources confirmed that Plan C-Finding a political solution to Afghanistan has been presented to Foreign Secretary William Hague. Moreover, the plan has also been discussed with Pakistani government officials in London.
However, the division of the country has met with extreme criticism. Experts have panned the attempt of ‘imposing’ a democratic political system on Afghanistan, when they should be concentrating on a military exit strategy.
According to Wazhma Frogh, executive director of Afghanistan's Research Institute for Women, Peace and Security, "Who is the British MP sitting in London and deciding for Afghanistan? It should be us, the people of this country, deciding if we want to divide into states or collapse as a nation.”
In addition to this Thomas Ruttig, co-director of the Afghan Analysts Network said: "Splitting the country into such regions will result in the empowerment of what we have started calling 'local (or regional) power brokers' and what was known as 'warlords' before, whose misrule between 1992 and 1996 caused the rise of the Taliban in the first place."
In a country like Afghanistan where war and internal tribal disputes have always been considered an integral part of history, establishing a democratic setup is completely hypothetical in the first place.
Furthermore, if in times to come states like US and UK have to treat the place as their colony by overseeing all operations and affairs then the plan should be appropriately renamed as neo-colonial solution for Afghanistan.