x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The Taliban gears up to rule Afghanistan

After a decade of fighting it is the Taliban, not the US, that will claim victory, an Arabic-language editorialist says. Other topics today: payments to the Palestinian Authority, dual citizenship for Iraqi officials, and a Norwegian's fanaticism

"The US withdrawal from Afghanistan doesn't mean victory," said the London-based Al Quds Al Arabi in its editorial.

Rather, "it is an express admission of failure, for victory means the achievement of the forces' proclaimed mission to propagate democracy and build a strong regime capable of controlling the entire country."

Beginning the withdrawal of its troops has not ended the US administration's troubles, due to increased Taliban attacks on Nato forces and the escalation of assassinations of Afghan officials.

In reality, it is the Taliban which control more than two-thirds of Afghan territory and threaten to violently take over the remaining third. They assassinated the Afghan president's brother, which was a clear signal that they are capable of eliminating anyone, including President Hamid Karzai himself, if they want to.

"Ten years into the occupation, the US project in Afghanistan is quickly disintegrating." With US troops departing, pro-US Afghan troops will be left to face their destiny as traitors who co-operated with the occupier.

The US occupation of Afghanistan aimed to disable the Taliban and eradicate Al Qaeda, but none of these objectives was achieved.

Al Qaeda is growing stronger while the Taliban have proved beyond doubt that they are the force to be reckoned with in Afghanistan.

The world must unite to reject fanaticism

Anyone reading excerpts of the 1,500-page tract posted online by the Norwegian mass murder before his crime would be appalled at the magnitude of his fanaticism and the uncanny similarities between his concepts and those of Al Qaeda, commented Treq Homayed, editor-in-chief of the London-based Asharq Al Awsat.

The killer included in his screed a timeline to drive Muslims out of Europe by 2083. And he called for the assassination of various British politicians and media personalities whom he accused of promoting multiculturalism in Britain and Europe.

"This means that the wise of all religions are in real trouble. While our Islamic fanatics call for the ousting of non-Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula, Europe's Christian fanatics are calling for the ousting of Muslims from Europe. Who will protect the wise, Christians and Muslims, as long as fanatics from both sides have declared the battle of insanity in the name of religion?" asked the writer.

What the world needs today is a firm worldwide consensus, under the law and by scholars, opinion leaders and the media, to reject all fanaticism.

If the right to coexist and the culture of dialogue were to disappear, the world would become unliveable and the lives of innocent people everywhere would be in jeopardy.

Financial assistance to the PA needs a review

All Palestinians support providing financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority to meet urgent needs, but the PA should not represent the interests of only one party, noted columnist Fayez Salah Abu Shamala in an opinion piece in the Emirati newspaper Akhbar al Arab.

It should be known that the financial support granted to the PA by international donors is not free of conditions. The PA is required to fight resistance in return. It has, accordingly, cut off the salaries of those who rejected Mahmoud Abbas' policies.

The PA should be warned that it must correct its mistakes if it expects to continue receiving funds, especially from Arab countries, said the writer.

In this regard, the thousands of public employees who have seen their salaries suspended need to call on Hamas to ask the Arab League to include this issue on the organisation's agenda.

"I also suggest for Hamas to send a list of affected employees, who are ... part of the PA but work in service facilities in Gaza Strip, to the Arab League …

"Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has previously objected to dispensing any money collected from tax to them."

The Arab League should instead provide financial assistance to all Palestinian employees, without discrimination.

Political loyalty should be to Iraq alone

The proposal by the Iraqi parliament to ban dual nationality for senior officials and require them to waive their foreign citizenship if they want to keep their positions is welcome and timely, the Emirati newspaper Al Bayan said in its editorial.

Currently many officials have dual nationality, which puts their loyalty into question. "Anyone who should represent Iraq, must be fully Iraqi," the paper said.

Iraq is on the verge of entering a new phase of assuming sovereign security responsibility, and Iraqis are supposed to be ready by the end of this year to undertake this important role. This, of course, would require a competent as well as harmonious government. Its members should have loyalty to Iraq and aim to serve the interests of Iraqis.

For eight years, many have emphasised the importance of the unity of Iraq, and highlighted the risks posed by personal interests.

This draft law should be adopted quickly because it aims at putting the supreme national interests high on the agenda.

So far, there are promising signs that Iraqi political forces might support such a proposal, although some politicians question the efficacy of the draft law, as it covers only some positions and ignores other posts.


* Digest compiled by the Translation Desk