The first time you see a nebulosa leopard, you’ll likely think it’s a myth. The fact is, the animal has been on the brink of extinction for over thirty years. In fact, the species was reintroduced to Formosa, where humans had relocated it. Known for its aggressiveness, its minuscule mandibula, and “dientecillos,” it’s hard to miss this predator in the wild.
While some people think the pez graso is extinct, scientists disagree. Many scientists believe that the animal still exists in the lago de Tota, and are engaged in research to find it. Meanwhile, celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio, have taken up the cause of this endangered species. The pez graso is the latest example.
The kraken is one of the most popular myths about these creatures. This sea creature is thought to inhabit the waters of the North Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. According to scientists, it can move as fast as 2 meters per second. Its closest relative is the cameroceras. If you’re planning to go swimming in an area that has a large number of these animals, make sure to wear a protective suit to keep yourself safe.
Another elusive species is the jaguar. Though it’s endemic to Peru, it’s still considered a dangerous animal and is largely hunted for its fur. Its numbers have increased to as much as forty in the Apurimac region. But this is only a small percentage of the jaguar population in the Amazon, so the question remains, “Is the jaguar the most dangerous animal of all?”
Is there anything good coming out of the Afganistan crisis? What should be done to protect human rights? Are the new regimes in Afganistan doing the right thing? The new relations between the US and Afganistan will depend on the new regimes actions. And what about the Taliban? What is Iran’s role in Afganistan? Should Pakistan be involved?
Estados Unidos y talibanes
Afganistan cannot mount a genuine resistance to the talibanes. The leadership of the talibanes is a mess and cannot relay all of the agreements to the combatants. It seems that the U.S. should continue to provide some assistance, but should leave the country in its current state? And what is the best way to do this?
The United States has been pursuing a withdrawal from Afganistan for years. President Donald Trump signed a treaty in February 2020 with the Taliban to limit military action against insurgents. This would allow the combatants to refortify their bases and take control of key areas. President Joe Biden recently announced plans to withdraw all U.S. forces from the country by late August. In addition, a United Nations official said that the Taliban was debating a transfer of power.
The talibanes have recently made gains in the country’s largest cities, Ghazni and Puli Khumri. Ghazni, which is 150 kilometers from Kabul, is a traditional linchpin for Kabul. In November, Ghazni and Puli Khumri fell under talibanes’ control.
Iran’s influence in Afganistan
Iranian armaments have been found in the hands of Afghan Taliban fighters, prompting questions about Iran’s overall strategy in the country. General Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has cited Iran’s ambiguous role as a factor in the armed conflict in Afghanistan. General Gates has also accused Iran of playing a “double game” in the region. In any case, Iranian ambiguity has fueled confusion and uncertainty in the region.
Afganistan’s Shia Hazaras, who live in the central Koh-i-Baba Mountains, have deep cultural and socio-political ties to Iran. Hazaras from Afghanistan sought refuge in Iran during the Afghan civil war. Iran also sent millions of Hazara refugees to Syria, largely motivated by money and permanent residency in Iran. Despite these differences, Iran’s influence in Afghanistan is hardly limited to a single region.
Although Iran has significant influence in Afghanistan, it is unlikely that it will use this influence to support a long-term U.S. military presence. The Iranian government may use its influence to protect its interests, including the flow of narcotics and water to Iran. Iran may also try to undermine U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. Iranian influence in Afghanistan is constrained by two factors: Afghan public opposition and Iranian partners’ wariness.
Iran’s aislamiento global in Afganistan
The Shi’a Hazaras of Afghanistan, who live in the central Koh-i-Baba Mountains, share a long history with Iran. They have long looked to Tehran for support during the Afghan civil war, and Tehran has responded by sending thousands of Hazaras to fight for the Assad regime in Syria. These young men were motivated by money and the prospect of permanent residency in Iran.
The Taliban are both Shia and Sunni fundamentalists, so Iran’s measured support for them is unlikely to have a single purpose. The Islamic Republic is trying to establish credibility with all Taliban factions, improve communication with the Pashtun population, and strengthen its leverage over the central government of Afghanistan. In addition, it may be sending a signal to the United States.
While Iran is trying to rebalance its economy and strengthen its regional clout, this cooperation could also help Afghanistan’s western areas. It could make Afghanistan more developed and less dependent on Pakistan, which Kabul distrusts. Further, if the Iranian-Indian cooperation succeeds, Afghans will be less dependent on Pakistan. In sum, Iran’s aislamiento global in Afganistan is a way for Tehran to achieve its objectives and remain in Afghanistan after the United States draws down its forces in 2016.
Pakistan’s influence in Afganistan
The joint Haqqani-JeM training camps suggest that Pakistan is using proxies to project its influence outside its borders. In addition to Haqqani Network, the ISI is also backed by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant organization, which has turned towards diplomacy with India. Nevertheless, Pakistan’s presence in Afghanistan may pose a threat to Haqqani Network’s influence and its willingness to wage war in Afghanistan.
While India and Pakistan maintain cordial relations, many regional analysts have argued that both countries want instability in Afghanistan to further their interests. Moreover, many Pakistani policymakers believe that Russian military intervention in Afghanistan will increase Islamabad’s influence over the political trajectory of Afghanistan. Hence, both nations will be looking to counteract India’s influence in Afghanistan. However, the role of the U.S. and NATO in Afghanistan is unclear. Despite this, many Pakistani policymakers view U.S. hegemony over Afghanistan as a security threat.
Although Pakistan’s attitude toward Russia in Afghanistan has shifted from indifference to vocal support, its cooperation with the Taliban has increased. Russia has developed informal diplomatic relations with the Taliban and cooperated with them to deter and weaken ISIS in Afghanistan. As a result, the Pakistani government has expressed its support for Russia’s efforts to reach out to the Taliban. According to Pakistan’s special assistant for foreign affairs, Moscow is encouraging the Taliban to engage in peace talks with the government.
There’s one good thing that might come out of Afghanistan’s taLibanes crisis. It will bring peace. The de facto authorities are working on a national policy on the right to education for girls. They initially assured women’s rights under Islamic law, but since then they’ve curtailed many of their fundamental rights, including the right to work and participate in major decision-making fora. Still, there are some encouraging signs that this crisis will lead to gender equality.
If the Taliban take the country by force, they risk destabilizing the entire region. Despite Council resolution 2593 (2021), there are links between Taliban and Al-Qaida that persist. France will not allow Afghanistan to become a safe haven for terrorist groups in Kabul. Nevertheless, France is determined to keep its commitment to providing humanitarian aid for the Afghan people. France has committed to EUR100 million in aid for the region.
Moreover, the Taliban continue to object to elections that might remove them from power. The Taliban have adopted an Iran-like model of a supreme religious council, which rules over other political and administrative structures. It’s important to keep this in mind. However, it’s also essential to remember that the Taliban have used violence to achieve political power. The international community should continue to support local peace efforts and encourage them to join in.
Human Rights Watch has investigated the role of Pakistan’s talibanes, or military advisers, in the conflict in Afghanistan. In the summer of 1997, for example, the Taliban conducted a recruitment drive in the city of Bamian, which the government captured in September 1998. According to Human Rights Watch, this chief Hizb-i-Wahdat commander was paid U.S.$800,000 to withdraw. The report interviewed the commander of the Hizb-i-Wahdat in Bamian.
In the face of the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, Pakistan has an enduring interest in cracking down on the Taliban. It has three million Afghan refugees from previous wars and cannot afford to support more of them. As a result, it must do its part and support the new government in Kabul. But the question is whether Pakistan’s interests are aligned with that of Kabul.
A pro-Taliban cleric in Pakistan is providing logistical support to the Islamic State group. A number of doctors from Pakistan traveled to Afghanistan after the Taliban overthrew Kabul. The Pakistani doctors are now advising the Taliban Ministry of Health. The Afghan government needs professional bureaucrats to function. The ongoing airlift and evacuation efforts have depleted the professional workforce in the country.
Iran’s cooperation with talibanes
The current rule of the Taliban poses some serious challenges for Iran’s relationship with Kabul. The Taliban is notorious for its strong anti-Shi’a ideology, and its behavior towards the local Shi’a Hazara population has harmed their image. While Iran has maintained a myth of a reformed Taliban, this has not necessarily been the case. It is worth noting that the Taliban has allowed Shi’a Ashura mourning rituals to take place in Afghanistan.
Iranian hardliners have often referred to the Taliban as “Iran’s Taliban” since 1996 when the Taliban overthrew the government of Afghanistan. During the post-election protests in 2009, Iranian demonstrators shouted “Down with the Taliban, in Kabul or Tehran.” In contrast, the current Afghan government has been largely supportive of the Taliban, and the perception that the neighboring country supports the latter is hardly popular.
The dilemma for Iran is that it has to play a delicate game with the Taliban. In Herat, Farah and Nimruz provinces, it must balance its traditional ally with Taliban factions to avoid provoking conflict between radical and accommodationist Taliban factions. If the Taliban were to accept the Fatemiyoun Brigade’s request to operate freely in Afghanistan, this would be a significant concession for the jihadist organization. However, if Iran can leverage the Afghan government’s fight against the Islamic State as a bargaining chip, this could prove to be a good opportunity for the Taliban. In addition to that, it could secure the Taliban’s recognition from regional partners as well as economic support from international and regional partners.