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April 15, 2021

Taliban’s genuine will for peace a must

The peace talks have remained a hot topic in recent years and Afghans urge the Taliban to decrease violence to show their genuine intention in the negotiations, but the Taliban held out against it so far and were widely involved in killing Afghan soldiers and civilians. The people of Afghanistan seem apprehensive about the postponement of the talks since the fatality rate is so high. The Taliban had to declare ceasefire or reduction in violence with the delay in talks. That is to say, Afghans fear that the Taliban would continue their escalated insurgency, which is more likely to increase the civilian casualties. Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser, Hamdullah mohib said on Saturday that if a peace deal has not been reached by the time US and NATO troops withdraw from Afghanistan, the country could be plunged into a civil war. NSA said that Afghan government wants peace and a ceasefire instead of just a reduction in violence. He once again called on the Taliban to stop killing Afghans and said it is time the group sat down and negotiated in good faith.
This comes after U.S. intelligence agencies this week warned the Biden administration
that the Taliban could overrun most of Afghanistan within two to three years if U.S. troops leave before a power-sharing deal is reached between the warring sides. Such a takeover potentially would allow al-Qaeda to rebuild in Afghanistan, the New York Times reported, quoting anonymous U.S. Indeed, ending the four decades of conflict in Afghanistan is one of the top Agendas of the US and its allies. When the US and Taliban reached a peace deal, Afghans and international community hoped Afghan government and Taliban would reach to a comprehensive peace agreement through the Intra-Afghan talks too, but that could not
happen, since the militant group continued attacks on Afghans masses and escaped the negotiating table in Doha. A Consultative Peace Jirga was held in Kabul on August 7th-9th of 2020 to discuss the way forward in the Afghan peace process and reach a decision regarding the release of the 400 Taliban prisoners, who had been implicated in serious crimes, and other various issues on the peace process.The 23-Point Declaration of the Consultative Jirga could act as the peace road map; Afghan government released the controversial Taliban prisoners as a sign of trust building. However, the Taliban in turn intensified the war and targeted civilians, women, Ulema, civil society activists and journalists. The violence-based approach of Taliban showed they look for military victory. If this happens, it will exacerbate commitment problems, increases the degree of support that insurgent leaders received from their civilian supporters and consequently increased
the likelihood of recurrence of civil war. As it was expected, Afghan government looks for a political settlement to ensure sustainable peace. Success of the Peace talks as a bilateral process requires both
sides to have a strong will for peace and declaring a ceasefire is the first. Therefore, the upcoming Turkey meeting requires Taliban’s more flexibility in the process and their guanine intention for stability in the country.

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