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Afghanistan’s Grand Tricolour – Representing Passionate Voices of Afghans
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Neelapu Shanti | Date:14 Jul , 2022 0 Comments
Neelapu Shanti
is a New Delhi based International Affairs, Researcher, Writer, Journalist and an Indo-Afghan Analyst. MA in International Relations and Post Graduate in Journalism.

“This flag is raised not without costs, without the costs of having struggled for many years, without the costs of having lost so many lives in order to have a free and sovereign and good Afghanistan” , former President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai.

The people of Afghanistan rise at every fall strongly drawing strength from the flag that is flown high with honour and unshakable pride. Flying high for liberty, justice and aim to give hope to every Afghans.

The black, red and green colour of the flag is a juxtaposition of great sacrifices, new hope for the future and lays the foundations of the social development process.

‘Flying high’- emblazoned with immense courage and emerging from appalling suffering, Afghanistan’s scintillating tricolour is a hope to promote compassion and respect for human rights at the highest levels, so that the Afghan people build a future of dignity.

Afghanistan’s flag had gained significant importance in 2002 after the US toppled the Taliban regime.It had thence represented the democratically elected governments and indeed created conditions to uphold the vision to achieve peace and security, inclusive and sustainable development, and human rights and good governance are dimensions seen together to fully meet the aspirations of the Afghan people.

In 2014, the Flag Foundation of India (FFI) gifted the government of Afghanistan the country’s largest National Flag and Kabul’s first and tallest flagpole standing 207 feet. This is the first time that such a flag and flagpole of one country has been gifted by another country.

In the present-day situation, after the Taliban takeover in August last year, the sufferings of the Afghan people are of immense proportions- they have been displaced from their homes, bereft of their belongings, and parted from their families. Their suffering is incalculable; as is the wasted human potential they represent for being an Afghan. But even in these challenging times, Afghans continue to display their resilience wherever they are now. 

Why Is Afghanistan’s Tricolor Flying High?

The flag which is a symbol of defiance after the Taliban takeover in August last year, now stood as the aspirations of the Afghan people for the nation-state that was built on development aspects than the rigid Sharia law that undermined the basic rights of the people.

The sentiments remain crucial despite differences in ideologies of the flags, wherein the Taliban disincentivized the tricolour that embarked its roots to King Amanulla Khan who have reign in reforms for modernizing Afghan society.

How can one scrap the sentiment of the Afghan people attached to the flag which has created possibilities of development?The Afghanistan’s missions abroad represent the same flag till today demonstrating the strengths of Afghans.

The sentiments of the Afghans have been attached to this tricolour as the hard-gain developments of Afghanistan have been only possible with the redoubling efforts of the tricolour to reach those left farthest behind: refugees, internally displaced people, women and girls, children and all people whose lives have been overturned by the Taliban takeover.

At the Afghanistan mission in New Delhi, the flag stood tall and strong to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to Afghan refugees, students, patients, and traders in their time of need.

Afghanistan’s mission in New Delhi is an exemplary narrative to showcase how the black, green and red colour of the flag is working together in delivering a new way of working. These are some of the driving factors behind the vision of the tricolour in order to put the Afghan people at the heart of the mission work

Afghanistan’s seventy missions have retained the republic and its tricolour flag of black, red and green to build from a crisis-based narrative to an opportunities-based narrative.

Tricolour’s role in Afghanistan’s Mission in New Delhi

Farid Mamundzay, Afghanistan Ambassador to India stated, “At present, we represent the geographic landmass and people of Afghanistan…we represent a republic that is lost for the moment”.

Highlighting the absolute priorities and double imperative, the Embassy of Afghanistan initiated the evacuation measures, continuity of Afghan student’s education, trade mobility, and helping the refugee community living in Delhi have been the core work for the past 11 months.

As the Embassy takes each step, the black, red and green colour- a representative of hope and solidarity keeps flying to rise high each moment.

The mission has made significant inroads to provide timely and much-needed assistance, food grains and essential assistance to Afghan refugees living in New Delhi- so far they have distributed rations to 8,000 plus families, and the initiation and collaboration of the mission with the Government of India, 50,000 MT tonnes of wheat aid assistance have been provided to the people of Afghanistan, for the continuity of Afghan students education in India- the scholarships have been extended, for trade mobility- every support have been developed to the Afghan traders, arranged medical camp for the refugees and much other vital work the mission undertook

In the face of these fragilities, the Afghan people recognize the vital importance of unity and solidarity through tricolour. This, in turn, will help lead to effective mechanisms it needs to make humanitarian efforts for the Afghan people.

Ambassador, Farid Mamundzay, have been generating synergies towards achieving these goals to revitalize cooperation for the common good and build lives of peace and dignity for the Afghans.

In this context, it is crucial to strengthen and deepen “democratic values” as the tricolour represents the people across countries and regions: connectivity in infrastructure, trade, finance, policies and, perhaps most important of all, the Afghan people.

Future of Afghan People

Overlooked by the Taliban, the Afghan people’s lives have been attacked by a deadly combination of chronic drought, endemic poverty and fragility, combined with displacement, ongoing instability and violations of humanitarian and human rights law.

The girl’s education has been scrapped and the women have disappeared from public life.

The world must come together to reduce the suffering of Afghans and the Taliban Government must induce systematic practices that shall bring forth dramatic changes and advancement in the constellation of partnerships in addressing human rights violations, gender equality, education to all and delivering better results for the Afghan people in the coming years. The Western World seem overly engrossed with the war in Ukraine and have abandoned Afghanistan to deal with the mess they created and left behind.

Indeed, the humanitarian crisis continues to devastate Afghans. Taliban government remains a mute spectator to violations of human rights and international humanitarian laws which occur with impunity giving an impression that Taliban is indeed a party to all such misdoings.

It is time the international community must pressurise the Taliban to remodel their form of government to an inclusive one. Afghan women and children need to be given the freedom to earn their living and educationally prepare themselves to contribute to the progress and well-being of the country.

More importantly, UN, the world body cannot legalise a terror group led country as its member, incentivizing terror outfits all around the world to employ terror as a means to overrun legitimate governments and take control of its reins to rule its citizens through violent means while plundering national wealth.

And again, the international community must pressurize the Taliban to support an inclusive governance system-1) It has got to be an inclusive government (2) they have to have women and children to be included in education and the mainstream workforce and all other activities (3) and thirdly, UN cannot recognize a terrorist group country to be the member of the United Nations.

So they have to have the legitimacy that legitimacy will perhaps come through the elections process that they have where the people participate and the people decide and that Afghanistan’s government to be headed by the elected leaders through the democratic process.

Support that can be given to alleviate the Afghan people’s hardships

The present Taliban-Government is not only wielding on non-democratic lines of governance but transforming the black, red and green colour from a symbol of peace of development into a terrorism hub.

As per the Monitoring Team (MT) of the Taliban sanctions committee of the UN formally known as Security Council Committee report published in May this year highlighted  the presence of foreign terror group including Pakistan-based and India-focused LeT and JeM in Afghanistan and the Taliban control 3 out of 8 terror camps. However, this report was denied by the Taliban.

The situation of Afghanistan is worsened as the humanitarian crises is critical without any respite, the Afghans are not sure of their future and importantly, uncertain where their next meal will come from. Terrorism remains a constant threat for the regional countries too.

It requires a determined action by the international community to address the severe economic contraction, human rights violations and escalating humanitarian crisis otherwise it will will fuel despair and breed terrorism activities in Afghanistan.

The global response also include regional and inter-regional cooperation adopting effective mechanisms in defusing the evolving threats,, preventing spill-over, promoting stability and ultimately save lives.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

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