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What Russia seeks in Afghanistan?

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Daesh emergence, and US incompetence on war on terror is behind Moscow’s interference in Afghanistan: Rana Think Tank

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Political experts on Tuesday in a monthly meeting of the Rana Think Tank talked over Russia’s role in Afghanistan and toward what Moscow is striving to achieve?

The experts believed that the emergence of the Islamic State, aka, Daesh terrorist group and the failure of US in war on terror provided ground for Russia to once again seek a vital role in Afghanistan.

It has been for more than two decades that Soviet Union withdraw from Afghanistan. But, Moscow, once again striving to play a major role in the country. Recently, Russia, China and Pakistan discussed Afghanistan security situation in a meeting held in Moscow. However, there was no inclusion of Afghan representatives in the meeting.

Political experts said that Russia is never working to bring peace in Afghanistan, but struggle to establish a coalition in the region continent, in which to protect its own interests.

“Presence of US bases, and its troops in the country could be one of the main factor behind interference of Russia in Afghanistan,” Abdul Shokor Salangi, a political expert said.

“Since US and Russia are rivals, so, Moscow would make all-out efforts to establish a small coalition with Pakistan and China, and use it in its interest when needed,” he said. According to the political expert, Russia would put efforts to include Iran in the coalition as well.

“The goal of Russia is never to bring peace in Afghanistan, or pave ground for reconciliation process, but it wants the pullout of US troops from Afghanistan,” he added.

“As far as US troops stay in Afghanistan, Russia, Iran and China would never remain silent, the US presence is an equal pain that these countries never accepted and that’s why they joint hands for a collation.

He added that Moscow is trying to define its interest in some region and accept it officially by US.

“Moscow will never accept US bases near to the Russia territory.”

Pointing toward challenges and opportunities in Afghanistan, he said that Afghan government must keep impartiality in order to keep stability in the country, he mentioned.

Another expert, Mr. Safi said that despite other issues, the presence of Daesh militants is another challenge for Russia in Afghanistan.

“Russia believes that the extension of Daesh fighters in Afghanistan could be a threat to the Russia.”

He added that to rebuff Daesh threats, Moscow and Iran would prefer to make relations with the Taliban insurgents, aimed at suppressing militants loyal to the Daesh terrorist in Afghanistan.

Hinting toward US presence, he said that Washington is behind its own interests, when US reached its goal, would leave Afghanistan alone in the battlefield against insurgency.

“In order to safeguard Afghanistan in current situation, the government should revise its foreign policy and bring balance in its diplomacy,” he emphasized.

A writer and foreign policies’ expert, Dr. Latif Bahand, said that it is hard to understand Russia policy at all, because at any condition Moscow do its best for its interests.

Pointing to the recent remarks of the Russian Special Envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, who was against withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan at the moment, he said that such remarks showed that Russia wants US troops to be engaged physically and financial in fight against terrorist in the country.

Another political expert, Ahmad Naweed said the presence of Daesh as an international terrorists group in Afghanistan which is very much near to the Russia soil, could be the main reason for Moscow’s interference in the country.

Weak and mismanagement policy of the National Unity Government is another problem that resulted into foreign interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, he underlined.