DUSHANBE, September 29, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- If the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) mission is not finished successfully and the ISAF forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan, the consequences will be irreversible, Afghan Ambassador to Tajikistan Arzu Akhtar Mohammad stated at an international conference in Dushanbe on September 29.

The international conference on security and stability in Central Asia after withdrawal of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) from Afghanistan in 2014 is organized by the Friedich Ebert Foundation, the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Tajikistan, the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan and the Asia-Plus Media Holding.

The conference is being held in two sections: Afghanistan and Central Asia – The View from Europe; and Afghanistan and Central Asia – The View from Central Asia.

According to Akhtar Mohammad, if the fight against terrorism is not continued at the international level, “the consequences for the whole world will be comparable to the threat of nuclear weapons.”  “I call on all countries of the region and international forces to stay true to their commitments,” Afghan diplomat noted.

He stressed that Afghanistan was a pawn in the fight against extremism and terrorism imposed on it from outside and “assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani and recent attacks in the Nursitan and Kunar provinces are a striking demonstration of that.”

Dr. Wulf Lapins, the Friedich Ebert Foundation project coordinator in Central Asia, shared his vision of the possible development of events in the region after the withdrawal of ISAF troops from Afghanistan.

“130,000 military personnel and 100,000 policemen will have to maintain security in Afghanistan and be opposed to 20,000 armed Taliban militants after the withdrawal of the ISAF troops,” said Dr. Lapins.  “The Taliban already today consider themselves winners.  They have just to wait the year of 2014, which is determined as a fixed date of withdrawal of the [ISAF] troops from Afghanistan.  They [Taliban] are not in need of the negotiation process.  They know that under any state of affairs they will be part of a new political system in the country and the future of Afghanistan will depend on them.”

In his opinion, having decided to leave Afghanistan in 2014, the nations participating in ISAF have demonstrated a populist trend in their policy.  “This decision demonstrates the demoscopic tiredness of Western societies and their unreadiness to maintain further military presence in Afghanistan,” stated Lapins.  “At the same time, they try not to let that tiredness lead to deterioration of the situation in Afghanistan.   Such an open statement about a concrete date of the withdrawal of troops, however, means that the coalition has lost an initiative and just can respond to change of the situation.”

The expert, however, considers that there are also positive forecasts.  “There is a certain chance that recent coups in Arab states will open new prospects of socioeconomic and democratic development and a competitive value model could spring up from that and that model could be opposed to the anti-western ideology of the Al-Qaeda network that is aimed at politico-religious radicalization of youth.”