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Toppling of Ghani's regime in Afghanistan and Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Statue in Pakistan
|by Bhupinder Singh|
After recently reading the news item on how the government of Afghanistan collapsed to Taliban onslaught with complete melt down of its defense forces, we are all in state of disbelief.
Then followed the news of vandalization of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Statue in Lahore rekindling the gruesome scenes witnessed by many at the partition of the country in August 1947. Incidentally, this is not the first time, but the third time the statue has been vandalized since its installation in 2019. The gory act of vandalization and that of overrunning of a country separated by few hundreds of miles geographically are two unrelated events on the surface, yet the underlying cause is common. The genesis of both these incidents is direct result of indoctrination that everything we associate with is right and superior, while other person, legacy or his ideas are not equal but inferior.
The fall of Ghani government and Taliban gaining control over the country is creating a very fluid situation. The significant section of society there wants to move out of the mess they find themselves in since 1979, the time of Soviet invasion. At that time about 1 million Afghans lost their lives. But then after that the last forty years have been a time of turmoil on and off there. Then after the Soviet exit we saw the USA entry there. Now 20 years later USA is departing. The departing circumstances are grave and have been dubbed as “Saigon Moment”. As this is stark reminder of helicopter airlift of USA while the Vietcong had overrun the capital of South Vietnam. While talking about the comparison reminds of another acronym coined to describe Afghanistan as “Graveyard of kingdoms” for the invaders. The historical track records go back to the time of invasion by Alexander the great, in 330 BC. This is a long-checkered history, where even the British could not tame the region almost a century before. The present ground realities bring out the following major challenges now:
This is not a complete or comprehensive list of priorities, but just a starting point to start thinking about them.
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