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Paris Seminar on Afghanistan Mired in a Geopolitical Morass

March 15, 2024 (EIRNS)—The Paris Académie de Géopolitique organized a small seminar on Afghanistan on March 12. The outcome was confusing and unfortunate. The high point of the event was the presentation by three optimistic French signers of the Schiller Institute’s petition for the protection of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage, which offered hope for the future, built upon a positive foundation. However, the agenda of speakers was dominated by raving war propagandists. The latter were mainly invited for meetings at the National Assembly by French Green Party MP Hubert Julien-Laferrière, a member of the Defense Committee and as vice-president of the Franco-Afghan friendship society. The MP also organized a seminar on Afghanistan the day after, at the prestigious Salle Colbert of the National Assembly, where less radical warmongers were allowed to speak.

A key speaker at the Academy of Geopolitics was Besmillah Taban, former head of Afghanistan’s police criminal investigation unit and counter-terrorism unit, in the Interior Ministry, who sought asylum in Australia. In 2012, Taban was elected by the British embassy in Kabul after completing an assessment test to go for a scholarship program in Britain’s Sandhurst Military Academy. In January 2024, after two explosions, one in Kabul, the other in Mazar-e-Sharif killed several citizens, Taban alleged that the Taliban orchestrated attacks on civilians to distract public attention from their ongoing abduction and hostage-taking of women.

Under the title “Afghanistan, A Prison the World Has Forgotten,” his analysis reads as most of the CIA’s latest reports :

1) With the Taliban, Afghanistan is a growing refuge for terrorists. It is giving money, weapons and training to various terrorist groups, including ISIS-K, Al Qaeda, East Turkestan Islamic Movement (Uyghur), TTP from Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

2) As a result, insecurity in Afghanistan and in neighboring countries cannot but increase.

3) Despite the irrefutable evidence of this fact, Western countries are still giving humanitarian aid which the Taliban channels to the terrorists;

4) The Taliban, said Taban, “have organized a propaganda campaign to deceive the world while they have monopolized the culture, production and transformation of drug traffic. They have changed tactics, going from traditional drugs to industrial ones, especially methamphetamine, because climate conditions have reduced rainfall irrigating farmland, notably in the poppy producing regions.”

5) The Taliban are persecuting former military personnel and their families, taking away their property, land, homes and assets;

6) Taban said that both “gender apartheid” and “genocide” going on against the Hazara minority should be widely publicized and denounced.

7) He called for less recognition, less aid, more isolation, more sanctions and full backing of the National Resistance Front, i.e., shipping weapons for guerrilla warfare.

Along the same lines was the speech of former Interior Vice Minister Gen. Mirza Yarmand, a former admirer of NATO occupation, at the Académie de Géopolitique. Responding to a question from the New York Times in 2015, Yarmand praised U.S. NATO Gen. Campbell: “Right now it is reactionary, ad hoc: a district comes under attack, the Afghan forces call and say, ‘Send me a plane and bomb the place.”

Yarmand went as far as claiming that the Taliban were building biological and nuclear tactical weapons, saying: “The West wants to prevent the development of Russia and China and its objective is to keep a hand on the resources of Afghanistan, while the terrorists [that is, Taliban] use the economy to bolster their activity and want to change public opinion in their favor.” To remedy this, Yarmand proposes to organize an international conference to channel massive funding to “security forces” (himself) and the creation of a “provisional government” (including “moderate” Taliban) in charge of writing a new constitution and legislation for police, army and training of “honorable” security forces. All of this to prevent Afghanistan from going down with a medieval, hellish Taliban government.

None of the imported speakers addressed Afghanistan’s positive culture as the basis of building a non-colonial future. And, just as unfortunate, the audience, whether corrupted or confused, failed to take the occasion to debunk this cargo of lies.