Afghanistan: is there a way out of the deadlock?

Daniel Bootman
3 min readMay 27, 2022


One of the current needs in contemporary Afghanistan is the broad international recognition of its new government.

The key obstacle is the new Afghan legislation. After the Taliban’s victory, the constitution, which guaranteed the existence of republican forms of government and the democratic principles associated with it, was terminated. Strict Sharia law was imposed on all provinces of Afghanistan.

These norms, formulated in the early Middle Ages, are in obvious contradiction with the modern basic democratic principles of the human community. In addition, Afghanistan living under Sharia law, appears to be an unpredictable and dangerous neighbor. Key regional players do not understand what can be expected from the new Kabul government.

This provokes the international and domestic political tensions, makes it difficult to establish political and economic contacts, which, in turn, hinder the return of Afghans life to normal, peaceful course.

It is naive to think that the Taliban will be able to gain international recognition while keeping the current Afghan legislation. In addition, the introduction of Sharia law is opposed by a significant part of the country’s population. Thus, the existing problem has both external and internal political aspects. On the one hand, it prevents wide international recognition of the country and on the other hand, it increases the degree of discontent and provokes the political instability within Afghanistan.

Under these circumstances, perhaps, the Taliban leadership should take a closer look at the experience of Muslim countries that combine secular and religious forms of regulating the public life. The legislative practices of Iran, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria and the United Arab Emirates are of particular interest.

These states, on the one hand, support the traditional Muslim values and, on the other hand, take into account many modern principles of the human society.

If the government of Afghanistan decides to follow the path of other Muslim states, the key step in this process is likely to be the adoption of a new version of the country’s constitution. The basic provisions of this document could be the idea of a unified, independent and neutral Afghanistan, which remains committed to traditional Muslim values, but at the same time, shares the ideas of humanism and international law.

At this time, it is difficult to predict the long-term policy of the United States and NATO countries towards Afghanistan. However, Russia and China, as well as other near and distant neighbors, have an interest in keeping Afghanistan of its politically independent and neutral status.

A strong, united and neutral Afghanistan, adhering to the basic norms of international law, will be understandable and predictable to its neighbors, which will make it possible to build a long-term strategy for the development of various political and economic contacts. In addition, the last obstacles to broad international recognition of the country will be eliminated by the international community.