Unity stressed to resolve Afghan problems
KABUL (PAN): Political analysts, calling the 1979 Soviet invasion the darkest day in Afghanistan's history, on Monday asked Afghans to create unity in their ranks as no other nation could resolve their problems.
The call came on the eve of the 32nd anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. In 1979, Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan, sparking what most Afghans call "the misery of the country" during the decade-long occupation.
Russians faced a strong resistance from Afghans, particularly the US-backed mujahideen. During the war, 1.5 million Afghans were killed and tens of thousands of others wounded. Roughly 15,000 Soviet soldiers were killed and 50,000 others wounded, with 330 listed missing.
After the Taliban regime was toppled as a result of US-led invasion in late 2001, Russia has been trying to forge a new relationship with Afghanistan.
Political commentators believe the country is still suffering the war aftermath and Afghans are uncertain about their future. They see unity among Afghans as the only way to resolve their national problems.
"The problems of Afghanistan can be resolved only when Afghans forge unity in their ranks. No one else can help them resolve their problems," believed Wahid Muzhda, a Kabul-based analyst.
"Neither Russians nor US soldiers can bring peace to the country; the only solution lies in our unity," he remarked, saying the militants also lacked a clear policy to resolve the imbroglio.
On the withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014, former defence minister, Shahnawaz Tanai, said: "The West left the mujahideen alone after the Russians were defeated and it seems to repeat the same mistake."
Although the US and its allies say they would quit Afghanistan by the end of 2014, Tanai opined American soldiers would remain in the country over the long haul.
Western backers of the Afghan government pledged long-term support to the country at the Bonn Conference on December 5.
Another political analyst, Javed Kohistani, said the Russian invasion had paved the ground for neighbouring countries to interfere in Afghanistan's internal affairs. The meddling later led the US to invade the country to oust the Taliban regime.
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