Afghanistan stands at a critical juncture, trying to reconcile with the enemy that has resurged and endured over the last ten years against Afghan and international forces that have been operating on the ground to help the country stand on its feet in terms of stability and development. The terrorists and extremists that have continued the battle to challenge the democratic system of Afghanistan and the presence of international community have not registered and shown any willingness to come to terms with the values that have flourished over the last one decade in the country, which include human rights, citizenry's rights, construct of new social roles for women and integrity of Afghan people as a nation.
The regional countries, such as Pakistan and India, have put their weight behind the Afghan-led peace process, which has not produced any tangible results as yet. But the death of Osama Bin Laden on May 1, which brought relief to the much of the world, may entail the development of new regional architecture.
Afghanistan can play with post-Osama setting through a rational and active diplomacy bringing a wide range of players together to advocate for its case for a regional peace.
Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, paid a two-day visit to Afghanistan on Thursday and Friday to discuss bilateral issues aiming at further cementing the relations between the two countries. With announcement and pledge of additional $500 million aid, India's share of contribution to Afghanistan will be $2 billion since 2002, making it one of the largest donor countries for Afghanistan. India has also assisted Afghanistan in capacity building and provided scholarship for Afghan youths. As one of the largest democracies, its political philosophy can inspire peace in the region.
In his talks with President Hamid Karzai as well as in his address to the joint session of Afghan parliament, India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh supported the ongoing efforts by Afghan government to make peace with the Taliban insurgents. He, however, laid stress that "Terrorism and extremism are alien ideas to our people. They bring only death and destruction in their wake. They provide no answers to the problems of poverty, illiteracy, hunger and disease. We cannot and must not allow the flames of extremism and terrorism to be fanned once again."
The Taliban continue to remain linked with Al-Qaeda and after the killing of Bin Laden, the world's top terrorist, the militants stated that his "martyrdom will blow new spirit into the Jihad against occupiers." In fact, the Taliban remains a bunch of extremists that cannot break with wider network of terrorists and thus must be approached with an iron fist.