The Kabul Times.
Editorial

Intra-Afghan dialogue key to success of peace

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is again on a multi-nation trip as part of his efforts for facilitating the peace process in Afghanistan. According to the US Department of State, Khalilzad will visit Afghanistan, United Kingdom, Belgium, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Jordan and Qatar from March 25 to April 10. 
During his recent meeting with NATO chief, Khalilzad briefed the alliance on the ongoing efforts for peace in Afghanistan. His trip is part of the overall efforts to facilitate a peace process that brings all Afghan parties together in inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations.
According to US, Khalilzad will also consult with the Afghan government and other Afghans about the status of US talks with the Taliban, encourage efforts to form an inclusive negotiating team, and discuss next steps in intra-Afghan discussions and negotiations.
This comes as Khalilzad held a 16-day talks in Qatar with Taliban which the details were not announced, and the Afghan people and government criticized the closed doors talks, saying such negotiations should only aim to facilitate the Afghan-led peace talks, not to undermine the achievements made in last eighteen years.
Different strata of the society, including women and civil activists raised their voices and asked US and Afghan government to preserve the progress made so far and never pave the way for terrorists to once again threaten the security of the country, region and that of the world.
Here in Afghanistan, where an entire generation has known nothing but conflict, violence and instability, peace remained the only wish for the people. Being on the front line of war on terror, the Afghan nation has given much sacrifices and would never allow anyone to neglect their martyrs in peace talks.
Therefore, a direct talk between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban or any other government armed oppositions 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 the Afghans, however the process should include a discussion of the role of international community, particularly the US as the key Afghan partner who could provide support, facilitate and participate in the discussion.
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 been supporting the country’s security and defense forces during the years of counter-terrorism conflicts.
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 Afghan people.
Presence of the foreign forces means nothing, if an enduring peace restores in Afghanistan, as president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has once said no one wanted foreign troops remain in their country, but this required a sure inclusive peace and security to facilitate the international forces’ leave from the country.

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The Kabul Times.