The withdrawal of US troops and their Western allies from Afghanistan in 2021 created a fundamentally new military and political situation in the region. The dominance of the Taliban within the country is undeniable and is recognized by all of Afghanistan’s near and far neighbors. However, this has not lead to international recognition of the new government, the establishment of comprehensive diplomatic contacts, and the “unfreezing” of Afghan financial assets in foreign banks. It is worth noting that this position is held not only by the traditional opponents of the Taliban (the Western countries), but also by potential allies of the new authorities; the states of Central and Western Asia, Russia, China, etc. What is the reason for this phenomenon?
In our opinion, the international isolation of Afghanistan is due to the uncertainty of the position of the current government. The countries of Central Asia still perceive the Taliban as a dangerous and unpredictable neighbor. The states of the Islamic world, Russia, and China are concerned about the fact that the Taliban (composed mainly of ethnic Pashtuns) have usurped power, completely removing representatives of other peoples of multinational Afghanistan from governing the country. This situation is extremely beneficial for the United States and its allies, who expect to rely on national minorities in the future struggle against Kabul.
The best way out of this political “stalemate” could be the creation of an inclusive government, which, along with the Pashtuns, will include representatives of other peoples of Afghanistan — Uzbeks, Tajiks, Hazaras, etc. This would help establish interethnic peace in the country as well as reduce the distrust of the Taliban on the part of the neighboring Central Asian states — Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Finally, such a decision would create the necessary conditions for international recognition of the new Afghan government, improve bilateral Sino-Afghan and Russian-Afghan relations, and help to “unfreeze” the country’s accounts abroad.