What is Saudi Arabia looking for in Afghanistan?

Saudi Arabia has sought to increase its influence in Afghanistan since the administration of President Hamid Karzai, it has also pursued a more active policy in the Middle East since King Salman assumed power, and it seems that Afghanistan has a special place for this country in this program.

Afghanistan has been faced with many crises in the political, security, economic and social spheres since the US invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. It situation paves the way for the interventions of most foreign countries with any motive in this country. Nevertheless, there are important question marks regarding a Saudi role in Afghanistan.

Saudi Arabia’s efforts to increase its influence in Afghanistan can be divided into two levels: the use of soft and hard tools, In the soft field, it includes things like propaganda through schools and religious centers, the media, and Wahhabi missionaries. Religious schools in Afghanistan, backed by Saudi Arabia, have become a breeding ground for terrorist groups, Saudi Arabia has also set up Persian-language networks to promote Wahhabi ideology. “Exporting religious values in search of increased soft or cultural power comes at a political price, with regional consequences and, potentially, increased tensions across the Muslim world,” said Simon Mabon, a lecturer in international relations and director of the Richardson Institute for Peace Studies at Lancaster University, United Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia’s recent investment to build 600 religious schools in Afghanistan will undoubtedly promote Wahhabism in Afghanistan, the spread of Wahhabism in this country has always caused concern to the people of this country as well as the countries of the region. Also, some members of the Afghan parliament, including Ghazni MP Aref Rahmani, have reacted by warning of a new round of Saudi Arabia’s attempts to infiltrate Afghanistan’s education system and calling on the government to be vigilant. distrust of Saudi motives is also widespread among the non-Pashtun groupings that formed  the  Northern  Alliance  and  especially  the  Shi’a  Hazara,  who  fear Saudi sectarian policies.

Needless to say, the role of Saudi Arabia in the spread of Wahhabi Jihadism in this country will have consequences for Afghanistan and the Middle East. While everyone knows that War-torn and oppressed Afghans need more hospitals, roads, and other infrastructure than Saudi Arabia’s numerous religious propaganda centers.

Looking back and remembering Riyadh’s widespread support for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami, and others, one can guess that today it is time to support ISIS. three explosions in the “Dasht-e Parchi” area of ​​Kabul killed many innocent student girls, The attack targeted Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazaras who dominate the western Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood, unlike the Taliban, which claims to be fighting foreigners, ISIL has focused most of its attacks on religious minorities in Afghanistan. also, the Taliban denied responsibility, condemning the attack.

One of the results of this Saudi strategy is to support radical and terrorist groups in this bombing, and it will probably not be the last. Saudi Arabia will pay for these wrong policies because an insecure region and world are ultimately not in anyone’s interest, but it seems that the Kingdom is determined in this direction and wants to strengthen its regional power in any way possible. This rise in activity has been the most striking characteristic of the latest phase of Saudi Afghan policy which I guess is not unrelated to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

This will have repercussions for Afghanistan and will possibly endanger any political the progress that obtains to date. Afghanistan must first achieve internal cohesion for overcoming the crisis, and the international community must not hesitate to act if it wants to eradicate the roots of terrorism, especially Russia, China, India, and Iran in this regard must have regional convergence.


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