By: Lailuma Noori
US special peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has paid a visit to Kabul and met with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and leaders of Afghanistan political parties to brief them on his latest visits to Doha and Islamabad related to peace efforts.
A spokesperson to President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said both US peace envoy for Afghanistan and President Ghani discussed the ceasefire and the Taliban’s safe havens outside Afghanistan.
According to the spokesperson, in the meeting with US peace envoy Khalilzad, President Ghani has expressed his concern over continued violence by the Taliban group in the country.
“Both sides have expressed hope that ceasefire should be considered as precondition for maintaining peace in the country,” said Sediq Sediqi, the President’s spokesperson.
Khalilzad’s trip comes after a break was called in the US-Taliban negotiations following a Taliban-claimed attack on Bagram airbase on December 11. Before the break, sources said that the discussions were focused on a reduction of violence, a ceasefire and intra-Afghan negotiations.
Khalilzad on December 14 visited Pakistan and met with Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and they discussed the security situation and the ongoing Afghan reconciliation, said a Pakistani military spokesman.
When official peace talks begin, it is hoped that ceasefire with the Taliban group is maintained unconditionally as peace is the only option for Afghanistan, but reaching peace requires efforts and agreement of all parties to the ongoing conflict and Afghanistan government as a main side of the conflict welcomes any steps taken for reduction of violence and insurgency in the country.
A number of Afghan political experts believe that Taliban has no other option except to hold direct talks with Afghanistan government. They say it will be a big mistake for the group if they lose the chance for peace in Afghanistan.
Continued war and violence have suffered Afghans for the past 41 years. During the period, Afghans have experienced nothing except killing, destruction, migration and poverty and misery. As a result of continued war in the country, thousands of Afghans have been displaced from their home areas and experienced bitter and worst days of their life.
Now, various ways should be paved for maintaining ceasefire and reduction of violence in the country as innocent civilians are the main victims of the continued war in the country. Despite of repeated demands for maintaining ceasefire in the country, clashes between Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and Taliban fighters have increased recently in various parts of the country.
It is time for all sides to the ongoing conflict to say yes to the people’s demand which is ceasefire as the people of Afghanistan are tired of continued violence and war and want to live in a peaceful environment as other nations of the world.