Malaysia should be extra-careful before sending a peacekeeping force to Afghanistan as there must be “peace” to keep and not  “war” or “wars” to be waged

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said on Saturday that Malaysia would consider sending peacekeeping forces to Afghanistan if requested by the United Nations as the country had sufficient experience and international recognition in peacekeeping activities, having been actively involved since its first deployment in Congo in 1960.

In principle, Malaysia should contribute and participate in any United Nations peacekeeping force in Afghanistan but the Cabinet should be extra-careful before committing a peacekeeping force to Afghanistan as there must be “peace” to keep and not “war” or “wars” to be waged.

Although in the space of about a week, the Taliban has gone from controlling 90% of Afghanistan, including almost all its towns and cities, to holding almost none, the war is far from over in Afghanistan.

The United States has dropped hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bombs only to create a power vacuum and  bring about the re-emergence of warlordism,  with Afghanistan threatening to slide back into the early days of the 1992-94 civil war, when at least 50,000 people died as armed ethnic gangs fought each other for Kabul, turning most of the city into a wasteland of bombed-out houses and rubble.

While the United Nations is racing against  time to establish a viable multi-ethnic, broadbased coalition government, Northern Alliance leader and former president Burhanuddin  Rabbani has entered Kabul and  re-enthroned himself as the legitimate  head of state, declaring that while Zahir Shah was welcome to return to Afghanistan, he could do so only as a private citizen, not as a king; and the British,  who had intended to deploy 6,000 troops in Kabul, given notice that British forces  are not welcome as they have never been invited.

Is there a role for any UN peace-keeping force if Afghanistan degenerates into same murderous anarchy, chaos, factional fighting  and division that paved the way for the Taliban's rise in the last decade?


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman