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Afghanistan bilang isang tulay na kumokonekta sa Gitnang at Timog Asya

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Si Dr. Suhrob Buranov mula sa Tashkent State University of Oriental Studies ay sumulat tungkol sa ilang mga debate sa agham tungkol sa kung ang Afghanistan ay kabilang sa isang mahalagang bahagi ng Gitnang o Timog Asya. Sa kabila ng magkakaibang mga diskarte, sinusubukan ng dalubhasa na matukoy ang papel ng Afghanistan bilang isang tulay na nagkokonekta sa mga rehiyon ng Gitnang at Timog Asya.

Various forms of negotiations are taking place on the ground of Afghanistan to ensure peace and settle the long-lasting war. The withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and the simultaneous start of inter-Afghan negotiations, as well as internal conflicts and sustainable economic development in this country, are in particular scientific interest. Therefore, the research is focused on the geopolitical aspects of the inter-Afghan peace talks and the impact of external forces on Afghanistan’s internal affairs. At the same time, the approach for recognizing Afghanistan not as a threat to global peace and security, but as a factor of strategic opportunities for the development of Central and South Asia has become a key object of research and made the implementation of effective mechanisms a priority. In this regard, the issues of restoring the historical position of modern Afghanistan in connecting Central and South Asia, including the further acceleration of these processes, play an important role in the diplomacy of Uzbekistan.

Afghanistan is a mysterious country in its history and today, trapped in major geopolitical games and internal conflicts. The region in which Afghanistan is located will automatically have a positive or negative impact on the geopolitical transformation processes of the entire Asian continent. French diplomat Rene Dollot once compared Afghanistan to “Asian Switzerland” (Dollot, 1937, p.15). This allows us to confirm that in its time, this country was the most stable country on the Asian continent. As Pakistani writer Muhammad Iqbal rightly describes, “Asia is a body of water and flowers. Afghanistan is its heart. If there is instability in Afghanistan, Asia is unstable. If there is peace in Afghanistan, Asia is peaceful” (Heart of Asia, 2015). Given the competition of major powers and the conflict of geopolitical interests in Afghanistan today, it is believed that the geopolitical importance of this country can be defined as follows:

– Geographically, Afghanistan is located in the heart of Eurasia. Afghanistan is very close to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which is surrounded by the countries with nuclear weapons such as China, Pakistan and India, as well as the countries with nuclear programs such as Iran. It should be noted that Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan account for about 40% of the total state border of Afghanistan;

– From a geo-economic perspective, Afghanistan is a crossroad of regions with global reserves of oil, gas, uranium and other strategic resources. This factor, in essence, also means that Afghanistan is a crossroad of transport and trade corridors. Naturally, leading power centers such as the United States and Russia, as well as China and India, which are known around the world for their potential major economic development, have great geo-economic interests here;

– From a military-strategic point of view, Afghanistan is an important link in regional and international security. Security and military-strategic issues in this country are among the main goals and objectives set by such influential structures as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the CIS.

Ang tampok na geopolitical ng problema sa Afghanistan ay, sa kahanay, nagsasangkot ito ng isang malawak na hanay ng mga puwersang domestic, panrehiyon at internasyonal. Dahil dito, maaaring isama ng problema ang lahat ng mga kadahilanan upang gampanan ang pangunahing papel sa pagsasalamin ng mga geopolitical na teorya at konsepto. Mahalagang tandaan na ang mga geopolitical na pananaw sa problema ng Afghanistan at mga diskarte sa solusyon nito ay hindi pa natutugunan ang inaasahang mga resulta. Marami sa mga diskarte at pananaw na ito ay nagpapakita ng mga kumplikadong hamon habang inilalarawan ang mga negatibong aspeto ng problemang Afghanistan. Sa mismong ito, ipinapakita ang pangangailangan na bigyang kahulugan ang problema ng Afghanistan sa pamamagitan ng mga nakabubuo na teorya at maasahin sa pananaw ng pang-agham batay sa mga modernong diskarte bilang isa sa mga kagyat na gawain. Ang pagmamasid sa mga pananaw na teoretikal at diskarte na ipinakita namin sa ibaba ay maaari ring magbigay ng karagdagang mga pang-agham na pananaw sa mga teorya tungkol sa Afghanistan:

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“Afghan dualism”

From our point of view, the theoretical approach to “Afghan dualism” (Buranov, 2020, p.31-32) should be added in the list of geopolitical views on Afghanistan. It is observed that the essence of the theory of “Afghan dualism” can be reflected in two ways.

1. Ang pambansang dualism ng Afghanistan. Ang mga kontrobersyal na pananaw sa pagtatatag ng estado ng estado ng Afghanistan batay sa pamamahala ng estado o tribo, pagkakaisa o pederal, dalisay na Islam o demokratiko, Silangan o Kanlurang mga modelo ay sumasalamin sa pambansang dualismo ng Afghanistan. Ang mahahalagang impormasyon tungkol sa dualistic na aspeto ng pambansang estado ng Afghanistan ay matatagpuan sa mga pagsasaliksik ng mga kilalang dalubhasa tulad nina Barnett Rubin, Thomas Barfield, Benjamin Hopkins, Liz Vily at iskolar ng Afghanistan na si Nabi Misdak (Rubin, 2013, Barfield, 2010, Hopkins, 2008, Vily, 2012, Misdak, 2006).

2. Dualism na panrehiyong Afghan. Makikita na ang panrehiyong panrehiyong Afghanistan ay makikita sa dalawang magkakaibang diskarte sa kaakibat ng heograpiya ng bansang ito.

AfSouthAsia

According to the first approach, Afghanistan is part of the South Asian region, which is assessed by the theoretical views of Af-Pak. It is known that the term “Af-Pak” is used to refer to the fact that American scholars consider Afghanistan and Pakistan as a single military-political arena. The term began to be widely used in scholarly circles in the early years of the 21st century to theoretically describe U.S. policy in Afghanistan. According to reports, the author of the concept of “Af-Pak” is an American diplomat Richard Holbrooke. In March 2008, Holbrooke stated that Afghanistan and Pakistan should be recognized as a single military-political arena for the following reasons:

1. Ang pagkakaroon ng isang karaniwang teatro ng pagpapatakbo ng militar sa hangganan ng Afghanistan-Pakistan;

2. Ang hindi nalutas na mga isyu sa hangganan sa pagitan ng Afghanistan at Pakistan sa ilalim ng "Durand Line" noong 1893;

3. The use of an open border regime between Afghanistan and Pakistan (primarily a “tribal zone”) by Taliban forces and other terrorist networks (Fenenko, 2013, p.24-25).

Bukod dito, kapansin-pansin na ang Afghanistan ay isang buong miyembro ng SAARC, ang pangunahing samahan para sa pagsasama ng rehiyon ng Timog Asya.

AfCentAsia

Ayon sa pangalawang diskarte, ang Afghanistan ay isang heograpiyang isang mahalagang bahagi ng Gitnang Asya. Sa aming pananaw, lohikal na siyentipikong tawagan ito bilang isang kahalili sa katagang AfSouthAsia na may katagang AfCentAsia. Ang konseptong ito ay isang term na tumutukoy sa Afghanistan at Gitnang Asya bilang isang solong rehiyon. Sa pagtatasa ng Afghanistan bilang isang mahalagang bahagi ng rehiyon ng Gitnang Asya, kinakailangang bigyang pansin ang mga sumusunod na isyu:

– Geographical aspect. According to its location, Afghanistan is called the “Heart of Asia” as it is central part of Asia, and theoretically embodies Mackinder’s “Heartland” theory. Alexandr Humboldt, a German scientist who introduced the term Central Asia to science, described in detail the mountain ranges, climate and structure of the region, including Afghanistan on his map (Humboldt, 1843, p.581-582). In his doctoral dissertation, Capt. Joseph McCarthy, an American military expert, argues that Afghanistan should be viewed not only as a specific part of Central Asia, but as the enduring heart of the region (McCarthy, 2018).

– Historical aspect. The territories of present-day Central Asia and Afghanistan were an interconnected region during the statehood of the Greco-Bactrian, Kushan Kingdoms, Ghaznavid, Timurid, and Baburi dynasties. Uzbek professor Ravshan Alimov in his work cites as an example that a large part of modern Afghanistan was part of the Bukhara Khanate for a number of centuries, and the city of Balkh, where it became the residence of the heirs of the Bukhara Khan (khantora) (Alimov, 2005, p.22). In addition, the graves of great thinkers such as Alisher Navoi, Mavlono Lutfi, Kamoliddin Behzod, Hussein Boykaro, Abdurahmon Jami, Zahiriddin Muhammad Babur, Abu Rayhan Beruni, Boborahim Mashrab are located on the territory of modern Afghanistan. They have made an invaluable contribution to the civilization, as well as cultural and enlightened ties of the people of the whole region. The Dutch historian Martin McCauley compares Afghanistan and Central Asia to the “Siamese twins” and concludes that they are inseparable (McCauley, 2002, p.19).

– Trade and economic aspect. Afghanistan is both a road and an unopened market leading the region of Central Asia, which is closed in all respects, to the nearest seaports. In all respects, this will ensure the full integration of Central Asian states, including Uzbekistan, into world trade relations, eliminating some economic dependence on external spheres.

– Ethnical aspect. Afghanistan is home to all Central Asian nations. An important fact that needs special attention is that the Uzbeks in Afghanistan are the largest ethnic group in the world outside of Uzbekistan. Another significant aspect is that the more Tajiks live in Afghanistan as the more Tajiks live in Tajikistan. This is extremely important and vital for Tajikistan. Afghan Turkmen are also one of the largest ethnic groups listed in the Afghan Constitution. In addition, more than a thousand Kazakhs and Kyrgyz from Central Asia currently live in the country.

– Linguistical aspect. The majority of the Afghan population communicates in the Turkic and Persian languages ​​spoken by the peoples of Central Asia. According to the Constitution of Afghanistan (The Constitution of IRA, 2004), the Uzbek language has the status of an official language only in Afghanistan, except Uzbekistan.

– Cultural traditions and religional aspect. The customs and traditions of the people of Central Asia and Afghanistan are similar and very close to each other. For example, Navruz, Ramadan and Eid al-Adha are celebrated equally in all people of the region. Islam also binds our peoples together. One of the main reasons for this is that about 90% of the population of the region confesses Islam.

Sa kadahilanang ito, habang tumitindi ang kasalukuyang pagsisikap na maisangkot ang Afghanistan sa mga panrehiyong proseso sa Gitnang Asya, kapaki-pakinabang na isaalang-alang ang kaugnayan ng term na ito at ang pagpapasikat sa mga bilog na pang-agham.

Pagtalakay

Bagaman ang magkakaibang pananaw at diskarte sa lokasyon ng pangheograpiya ng Afghanistan ay may batayang pang-agham, ngayon ang kadahilanan ng pagtatasa sa bansang ito hindi bilang isang tiyak na bahagi ng Gitnang o Timog Asya, ngunit bilang isang tulay na kumokonekta sa dalawang rehiyon na ito, ay isang priyoridad. Nang hindi naibalik ang makasaysayang papel ng Afghanistan bilang isang tulay na kumokonekta sa Gitnang at Timog Asya, imposibleng makabuo ng inter-regional interdependence, sinaunang at palakaibigang kooperasyon sa mga bagong harapan. Ngayon, ang gayong diskarte ay nagiging isang paunang kinakailangan para sa seguridad at napapanatiling pag-unlad sa Eurasia. Pagkatapos ng lahat, ang kapayapaan sa Afghanistan ang tunay na batayan para sa kapayapaan at kaunlaran sa parehong Gitnang at Timog Asya. Sa kontekstong ito, lumalaking pangangailangan na iugnay ang mga pagsisikap ng mga bansa sa Gitnang at Timog Asya sa pagtugon sa mga kumplikado at kumplikadong isyu na kinakaharap ng Afghanistan. Kaugnay nito, napakahalaga na isagawa ang mga sumusunod na mahahalagang gawain:

First, the Central and South Asian regions have been bound by long historical ties and common interests. Today, based on our common interests, we consider it  as an urgent need and a priority to establish a dialogue format “Central Asia + South Asia” at the level of foreign ministers, aimed as expanding opportunities for mutual political dialogue and multifaceted cooperation.

Second, it is necessary to accelerate the construction and implementation of the Trans-Afghan Transport Corridor, which is one of the most important factors in expanding rapprochement and cooperation in Central and South Asia. With the aim of achieving this, we will soon need to discuss the signing of multilateral agreements between all countries of our region and the financing of transport projects. In particular, the Mazar-e-Sharif-Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway projects will not only connect Central Asia with South Asia, but will also make a practical contribution to Afghanistan’s economic and social recovery. For this purpose, we consider to organize the Trans-Afghan Regional Forum in Tashkent.

Pangatlo, ang Afghanistan ay may potensyal na maging isang pangunahing kadena ng enerhiya sa pagkonekta sa Gitnang at Timog Asya sa lahat ng panig. Siyempre, ito ay nangangailangan ng koordinasyon ng isa't isa sa mga proyekto ng enerhiya sa Gitnang Asyano at kanilang patuloy na supply sa mga pamilihan ng Timog Asya sa pamamagitan ng Afghanistan. Kaugnay nito, kailangang magkasama na ipatupad ang mga madiskarteng proyekto tulad ng TAPI trans-Afghan gas pipeline, ang proyekto ng paghahatid ng kuryente ng CASA-1000 at ang Surkhan-Puli Khumri, na maaaring maging bahagi nito. Mula sa kadahilanang ito, iminumungkahi naming magkasamang bubuo ng programang enerhiya na REP13 (Regional Energy Program ng Central at Souht Asia). Sa pamamagitan ng pagsunod sa programang ito, ang Afghanistan ay kikilos bilang tulay sa kooperasyon ng enerhiya sa Gitnang at Timog Asya.

Fourth, we propose to hold an annual international conference on the topic of “Afghanistan in the connecting Central and South Asia: historical context and prospective opportunities”. In all respects, this correspond to the interests and aspirations of the citizens of Afganistan, as well as the people of Central and South Asia.

Mga sanggunian

  1. "Heart of Asia" ─ pagtutol sa mga banta sa seguridad, nagtataguyod ng pagkakakonekta (2015) DAWN paper. Nakuha mula sa https://www.dawn.com/news/1225229
  2. Alimov, R. (2005) Gitnang Asya: mga karaniwang interes. Tashkent: Sikat.
  3. Buranov, S. (2020) Mga geopolitical na aspeto ng paglahok ng Uzbekistan sa mga proseso ng pagpapapanatag ng sitwasyon sa Afghanistan. Disertasyon ng Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) sa Agham Pampulitika, Tashkent.
  4. Dollot, René. (1937) L'Afghanistan: histoire, paglalarawan, moeurs et coutume, folklore, fouilles, Payot, Paris.
  5. Fenenko, A. (2013) Problems of “AfPak” in world politics. Journal of Moscow University, International relations and world politics, № 2.
  6. Humboldt, A. (1843) Asie centrale. Recherches sur les chaines de montagnes et la climatologie ihambing. Paris.
  7. Mc Maculey, M. (2002) Afghanistan at Gitnang Asya. Isang Makabagong Kasaysayan. Limitado ang Edukasyon ng Pearson

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