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Tiny Gulf state of Qatar has made a remarkable turn in its position. Qatar’s importance in Arab politics started with its role in negotiating between Hamas and Israel. Syria under Assad had cordial relations with Al Thani of Qatar until recently. Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad is leading the charge to convince the Security Council to say good bye to Assad. Sarcastically, Syrian rep at the UN asked whether Qatar was a part of NATO or the Arab League.
Taliban leadership also found a new home in Qatar, away from their old patron Saudi Arabia. US and Taliban are holding ‘talks’ brokered by Qatari diplomacy.
Surely, its not their gas alone which is making Qatar the new regional diplomatic power house. What else does Qatar have that goes beyond the obvious…
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US Central Command in Qatar has opened negotiations with Taliban leadership ahead of planned exit from Afghanistan. Talibans have proved two things. One, they are fearlessly loyal to their religion. Two, they are an invincible fighting force. Afghan Mujahideen faced off two superpowers back to back. An accomplishment second only to another nation, 1400 years ago, in 6th century Arabia. Why then did Talibans fail as a government?
6th century Arabia was considered a backyard of Persia, much like north Africa was for Rome. Present day Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine were under Roman Empire, while Iraq, Iran and Yemen were Persian strongholds. In the middle was a big desert inhabited by lawless bedouins. Ancient civilizations of Nile, Palmyra, Petra, Babylon and Sana overshadowed the desert Arabs, who had no written law, constitution, government structure, legislative assemblies or judicial systems. They resembled Native American (unfortunately and rudely called Red Indians) tribes in North America. Their backwardness was a natural boundary for expansionist empires.
Establishment of the first Islamic State in Medina by the Holy Prophet Muhammad sallillahu alaihi wa sallam changed all that, with remarkable speed. Lawless bedouins became the defenders of the Holy Law. From pagan culture they became the vanguards of Monotheistic belief. A nation known for highway robbery challenged the might and prestige of Empires and Emperors. It was not because they were numerically superior, nor was it due to advanced weapons. They had undergone a dramatic metamorphosis, which transformed their civilization, and gave them a new vision. They brought with them an enlightened thought of the universe, with amazing simplicity, logic, rationality and reason. All of which were backed by a spiritual energy worth dying for.
Afghans are born warriors, and fiercely independent minded. That however is not enough to be a civilized nation. They must stand up for justice, in Afghanistan and beyond. They must understand that they will need more than guns to make their nation an ideal Islamic nation. Good Governance, Rule of Law and Independent Judiciary based on Islamic principles would be a starting point. None of which can be achieved without respect for the sanctity and dignity of human life.