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Afghanistan Times

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Islamic military coalition

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Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Kabul has invited Afghanistan to join the recently established Islamic military coalition.  The 34-state alliance is aimed at elimination of terrorism from the Muslim countries through exchange of intelligence information, military and security, training and providing equipment and forces where required. The military coalition will also fight radical ideologies, involving clerics, political leaders and intellectuals. Whether the coalition would succeed in achieving its target is yet to be discussed and proved. However, the starting is not so promising because out of 50 Muslim-majority countries only 34 were included in the start—providing room to speculations.

If the coalition was politics free and committed towards its outlined goals then no doubt that the extremist groups would find no place in the Muslim countries to hide or organize. It will also wash the bad image earned by the Muslim extremists. Though, insurgency has no links with any religion but the Taliban, Islamic State, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups are using the name of Islam to find recruits and sponsors among the fanatics.  Religion is used by these groups to keep up their appearances. As these non-state actors are used by state actors, therefore, the newly formed alliance should be united against sponsors of terrorist groups. Without it we cannot fight the evil forces and cleanse the Augean stable.

But, as ill-luck would have it, the alliance does not seem free from politics because Iran and a few other Muslim countries were not made part of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition. If the coalition wants to topple the Bashar ul Assad’s regime then it should not be supported because it would be counted as direct interference of Afghanistan into Syria. It is said that the coalition would land forces in Iraq and Syria to limit Iran’s influence, though, this argument still has no ground to stand on. As Afghanistan is victim of the foreign influence, therefore, it should not become part of the organizations that turn sovereign countries into satellite states.

Moreover, the mechanism or mission of the alliance is still not clear. The Afghan government should make sure that the military coalition also eliminates local insurgent groups such as the Taliban and Haqqani Network. Kabul has the right to ask the kingdom that what kind of action the coalition would take against those countries that are supporting insurgency for their own goals. If the coalition does not deal with insurgency in Afghanistan and is dominated by a few key players such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, then it is better to keep away from such alliance.

Afghanistan should be careful when joining the coalition because the country had already suffered from foreign influence for too long. If the coalition is for betterment of the humanity and Muslims then it should be welcomed. However, no room should be given to foreign influence or proxies.

The coalition will prove significant if the course was set correct, else it will not be different than the OIC and Arab League. The two organizations has no considerable achievements and earning bad reputation despite the fact that most of the natural resources in the world are owned by the Muslim countries.