By Nadir Shah Katwazai
After two years of tough discourses and talks times comes for Intra- Afghan talks between the Taliban and Afghan government. The peace deal between the Taliban and American in late February without the involvement of the Afghan government in Doha was a much-complicated phase. The deal focuses on four main points like Intra Afghan talks, withdrawal of U.S. forces, no damages to U.S. forces and attacks, and lastly the release of five thousand prisoners. The release of prisoners was many serious issues that halt the peace process and increase the intensity of bloodshed from both sides in the country. The U.S. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo also left for Qatar on 11 September for peace talks between the Taliban and representative of the Afghan government.
The Afghan delegates that led by Dr.Abdullah Abdullah chairman of the high council for Afghanistan Reconciliation for peace with its members and Taliban delegates were already present in Doha. The peace negotiations make successful and arranged after the complete release of most dangerous prisoners. The role of Pakistan in the peace process was also not hidden that compel the Taliban to come to the peace table. The International players have also contributed well that have compelled Pakistan to play its constructive role. Pakistan is also facing a serious and multitude of domestic issues at the same time as well as international pressure.
The Taliban have contrast on many things with the current government that is unacceptable to most of the foreigner and the Afghan government. The removal of the current government, change the name of Afghanistan and its flags and constitutions. These were the demands of the Taliban but the Kabul administration was not prepared on any of these demands.
The recent global pandemic and the parallel ceremony between the two leaders Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah have slowed down the peace process that has created many gaps and opens the field for militants to come with a strong agenda. The internal disturbances among Afghan leaders over the sharing of powers that have raised questions on the government capacity that loss the lives of hundreds of civilians as well as military forces.
On Saturday, 11 September talks start, both sides present their agenda and the U.S. secretary of state also talk and focuses on the reduction of violation that separately meets with the representative of the Afghan government and Taliban leaders. The Afghan government will raise the issue of a complete ceasefire that is the most prime objective of the government in the Intra afghan dialogues.
Instead of the release of all serious prisoners who were involved in the killing of Australian, French, and U.S. nationals. In response, the Taliban have also released one thousand Afghan security forces. Many of the Taliban prisoners have moved towards the war field and Violence is in full swing from both sides. Before the start of peace talks bomb attack that on vice-President is a strong critic of militant have survived in Kabul in which ten innocent people become a victim.
The Taliban fighters have considered the deal with the U.S. as a victory and fighting will continue to take control over the whole country. The Taliban detest the current government and focuses on the Islamic government in which all tenets of Islamic law should preserve. Such as in past like hanging in public, stoned gay people, and keep away women from the job and working. Especially the social activists and women are worried about their rights and freedom should be enjoying after reached an agreement. The Taliban have ensured that all women must enjoy all those rights which are enshrined in Islamic law and will be treated according to Islamic practices.
The Trump administration has shown willingness to withdraw its forces within a few months. With the schedule, the drawdown will be reduced to a minimum of five thousand U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan before Election Day. All U.S. forces will be withdrawn by mid-2021 but after the U.S. government will continue their cooperation in many sectors and will work with the Afghan government.
The U.S. Special Representative Khalilzad is also been optimistic that successful talks which include a perpetual cease-fire and women and minority rights should be preserved. He adds that the international players are closely watching the participation of women in talks is a positive singe.
The peace talks were welcomed internally and externally including United States, Pakistan, NATO, OIC, china, and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the start of intra-afghan peace talks is a vital chance to get the long-awaited desire of the people of Afghanistan for peace. He adds that “it is very important that all afghan leaders and members of the international community do everything possible to make peace a reality”.
The Afghan government considers that there is no option and initiative without a complete ceasefire. The Taliban leadership is not ready for a complete ceasefire and saying that we have stop attacks in crowded places and we are just targeting government officials. The Taliban leaders have also talked with the Pakistani government and military officials before the start of Intra Afghan talks but Shah Mahmood Qureshi Pakistani Foreign Minister said that we have a desire to start afghan talk soon and guarantee regional peace and stability. The role of Pakistan is very crucial in bringing the Taliban for talks due to much influence and have close ties.
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah three-day recent key visits to Pakistan to meet with both civilian and military leaderships to discuss Afghan peace to end decade’s war. One of the journalists asked the questions from Abdullah Abdullah about his visit that how you see your visit and is their hope. He smiley replied that there is much hope and my visit is full of good news. After that Abdullah will go to India in the coming days in which they will talk with the Indian counterpart about the recent initiative about the peace process.
President Ghani has once again requested and raised his voice from the Taliban to announce a cease-fire and said that no comprise on the interim government and the Taliban persist on the deal with the U.S. in late February. Both the parties have compromised on some points but on many points, both have concerns. The United States Special Representative Zalimay Khalilzad said that in the coming days before the American presidential election we want from both sides to reach an agreement.
It is very pertinent for both parties to reach a consensus as soon as possible which is acceptable to all and the role of neighboring especially Pakistan and Iran should have to play positively. The ongoing war is neither in the interest of Afghanistan nor for regional players. The continuation bloodshed of innocent people must be halt which is continuing for more than four decades. Both parties have to stop and to identify those who are an impediment and sabotaging the peace process.
(Title Image courtesy: The Rising Youth)
About the Author
Nadir Shah is from Afghanistan and has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and worked in the National Museum of Afghanistan for more than three years. He is currently doing an M.A in South Asian Studies (UMISARC department) at Pondicherry University, India. Nadir has written four articles which were published in the Afghanistan times newspaper and delivered more than 20 interviews to various TV channels during his job. He has attended many international conferences and national seminars abroad and inside the country.