Editorial

Afghan-led peace process only solution to end ongoing war

Heading to Kabul from Doha to brief President Ghani and Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on peace talks, the United States special envoy for reconciliation in Afghanistan hailed ‘significant progress’ in finding a solution to end the war-torn nation’s long-running conflict.
“Meetings here (Doha) were more productive than they have been in the past. We made significant progress on vital issues,” Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted on Saturday after talks lasting six days with Taliban representatives in the capital of Qatar.
However, he added: “We have a number of issues left to work out. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and “everything” must include an intra-Afghan dialogue and comprehensive ceasefire.”
Khalilzad arrived in Doha after a swing around regional countries —- Pakistan, India, China and Afghanistan — and was expected to hold three days of talks with the Taliban. But the talks stretched to six days.According to Reuters, Taliban negotiators and US officials’ meeting in Qatar on Saturday finalized clauses in a draft agreement to end the 17-year-old Afghan war.
In recent years, when the Taliban intensified war in Afghanistan and continued martyring people including our brave security forces, the group was repeatedly invited by the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to shun violence and join peace process.
The government asked the Taliban leaders to introduce their representatives for peace talks either with the government or with High Peace Council (HPC), but the outfit has repeatedly rejected any face-to-face talk with the council and instead, suggested a unilateral talk with the US authorities.
Regardless of what would the Taliban discuss with the US, American officials had said they would support any peace negotiation between the government and the Afghan Taliban as they said this was an intra-Afghan problem and should be resolved by the Afghans themselves.
Indeed, the direct talk between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban is a need to resolve the ongoing problems. Both sides of the negotiations should be Afghans as the two sides of conflict and disputes are them, however the process should include a discussion of the role of international community, particularly the US as the key Afghan partner who so far provided support, facilitated and participated in the discussions.
Neither the government nor the people of Afghanistan are willing to have a peace talk with the interference of other countries and in the direction of the aliens, but the international partners who have so far provided aids, cooperation and other means for the Afghan people, even they have supported the country’s security and defense forces during the years of counter-terrorism conflicts, would never be ignored as they are working unbiasedly for the Afghans.
So, peace negotiations should be held based on an intra-Afghan dialogue and the Taliban, if want to give up arm and work for the country’s national interests, should join a direct talk with the elected system, as the main representative of the people, sans those countries seeking their own interest in a destabilized Afghanistan.

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