Taliban and the Hirmand Water; Lack of Legitimacy and Attempts at Compensation

A group that has come to power through violent means and suicide bombings is aware that they are not popular among the populace. People generally do not favor and will not accept any authoritarian system that rules over them by force, even if they are unable to express their opinion or oppose it. When people are taken captive by an armed group and they see that there is no one to support them from within or without, they are forced to remain silent until they have the opportunity to react and express their anger. The Taliban are cognizant of this fact and are constantly searching for ways to gain some popularity, at least among a section of the society who lack political understanding and are unaware of the machinations of this group. Not long ago, Mullah Yaqoob put on a show at the Durand border, pretending to be against the Pakistanis, but the elders of the Pakistani army smiled and informed the experts that Mullah Yaqoob’s family live in Karachi and he knows that wherever he has reached, it has been with their support.

The Taliban have used the Hirmand water issue as a tool of propaganda to distract the public from the main issues of the country, which are in the hands of a violent and armed group. Those familiar with the political landscape of Afghanistan are aware that some of the Taliban’s commanders and fighters have spent many years in Iran, receiving support from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and were committed to advancing the interests of that organization in Afghanistan. Currently, there is intense internal competition among three factions within the Taliban: one faction is more dependent on Pakistan’s ISI, another is more dependent on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and the third is attempting to get closer to the Americans and gain the most money and financial resources from the West. All three factions share the same ideology, but their foreign supporters’ conflicting interests are what puts them in conflict.

These national games and shows do not provide any relief from suffering for either the people of this country or those of neighboring countries. This demonstrates the ignorance of the Iranian regime’s policymakers and reveals that their animosity towards America has caused them to engage in foolish behavior, such as supporting a group like Taliban which has no integrity or loyalty. If they had any sense, they would understand that supporting a legitimate government in Afghanistan that abides by international conventions would be more beneficial to everyone than supporting a terrorist and extremist group allied with Al-Qaeda. If the Iranian regime’s policymakers had foresight and considered the long-term interests of the people of both countries, they would not support such a group in any way and would not view the downfall of the republican system as advantageous. In the case of Hirmand water, the Iranian side is the loser, and the profits from these advertisements and media fights go directly to the Taliban to compensate for their lack of legitimacy.