Editorial

Negotiated end to ongoing conflicts a must

In 2018, Afghanistan has witnessed rapid changes in peace efforts which is unprecedented in recent years. In early February, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani put forward an unconditional peace offer to the Taliban. Over the summer, the national unity government and Taliban honored their first truce in 17 years of war, albeit only for three days.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government introduced a special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, tasked with ending the longest war the United States has been involved in its history. Russia organized a conference on Afghan peace in Moscow, where the Afghan High Peace Council members and Taliban representatives met. Finally, in late November in Geneva, Switzerland in a two-day conference on Afghanistan development, President Ghani announced a 12 member team that will hold peace talks with the Taliban.
Considering the recent developments, it should be acknowledged that there is public demand for peace and Afghans deserve peace after having been at war for 40 years.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s special envoy for regional affairs on consensus for peace and head of the High Peace Council (HPC) secretariat, Omar Daudzai, on Wednesday said that peace will come to Afghanistan in the near future and that good improvements have been made in this regard.
Addressing an event in Kabul, Daudzai said Afghans want a lasting peace in the country and that people will witness a group in the near future which will work on a peace deal. ”Soon you will witness a team that will start work on the peace deal and peace is near; not in the coming days but in the coming months,” Daudzai said.
Meanwhile, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said he had productive meetings in UAE with Afghan and international partners to promote intra-Afghan dialogue towards ending the conflict in Afghanistan.
“Had productive meetings in UAE with Afghan & international partners to promote intra-Afghan dialogue towards ending the conflict in Afghanistan. Grateful to UAE for hosting talks & their commitment to founder’s legacy as Year of Zayed ends & Year of Tolerance begins,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
The United Arab Emirates hosted the US-Taliban reconciliation talks in Abu Dhabi, with the participation of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The two-day Afghan reconciliation conference fructified in tangible results that are positive for all parties concerned.
Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates extend their thanks to Afghan President Ghani as well as the US, Pakistani and Taliban delegations for their effective participation and support for ensuring the success of the conference, the agency said in a report on Wednesday.
For Afghanistan, peace stands paramount as the country is suffering from war, instability and resultantly from poverty and misery. The efforts to restore lasting peace in the country should be further strengthened and the national, regional and international stakeholders should come together so as to establish lasting peace. The current urge and the calls for peace must be pushed and the Taliban must also understand that they have no option to win the ongoing war through violence. They neither have the capacity, nor the people in Afghanistan ready to support them if they continue their current attitude.
Therefore, it is vital that they should lay their arms and promote peace and tranquility in the country. Neighboring countries in this regard must also play their part and should understand that ultimately it is peace that would be in the benefit of everyone.

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