The Kabul Times.
Editorial

National consensus needed for realization of durable peace

dove of peace 22296

As the direct talks between the United States and the Taliban further opened the way for peace in Afghanistan, success of the process ultimately depends on aligning such efforts with those led by the Afghan people.
Since its establishment in 2014, the national unity government spared no efforts to create national and international consensus on peace in Afghanistan. The government organized Kabul Process conferences as well as co-hosted many international and regional conferences, aiming to seek ways for lasting peace in the country.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani recently held meeting with a number of political figures and former jihadi leaders and discussed the peace process. During the meeting with the political figures, including CE Abdullah, VP Danesh, Former President Hamid Karzai, HPC chairman Karim Khalili and Abdul Rab Rasul Sayaaf, they offered their views regarding the ongoing peace negotiations and the meeting stressed lasting peace in the country.
Indeed, government’s such efforts indicate Afghanistan’s realization of the importance of creating a national and international consensus on peace-making in the country and bringing the Taliban into the political fold. ‘
Afghans have always welcomed other countries’ supports and efforts for peace, but emphasized to be in line with Afghan government’s goals and should be well defined and are held in close coordination with Afghanistan. Contacts with the Taliban for their own personal interests that can embolden and disincentive the group to come the negotiating table goes against the stabilization needs of Afghanistan and would further deteriorate the situation on the ground.
Government of Afghanistan in its road map for peace had earlier suggested general amnesty for Taliban leaders and fighters, ceasefire, recognition of Taliban as political party and an office for it in Kabul, and freeing prisoners of this group.
Despite tens of thousands of people martyred and wounded in Taliban attacks across Afghanistan and economic impacts of Taliban insurgencies for the country, the government of Afghanistan has expressed its perfect readiness for negotiation and accepting demands of the opposite side. It is indeed a heavy price paid for peace with Taliban; giving amnesty to thousands of militants who have targeted our innocent children, women and men; lifting sanctions on Taliban leaders who are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, destruction of the country and blocking the way of progress and development of Afghanistan for more than one and half decade.
Peace process is a national project and to succeed it, there is a need for political national consensus. There are different point of views among Afghan politicians and government officials. Therefore, not to bypass the views of these politicians and jihadi leaders, the president has initiated consultative meetings with them to include their experiences and ideas in the process.
A strong backing for government’s peace plan at national level can reinforce government’s position in fighting and as well talking with opposite militants. Meanwhile there is also a strong backing need from the regional countries on Afghan peace efforts. The regional countries honest steps in war on terror and curbing the financial roots of terrorism would help Afghan government to further make gains in fighting militants in the country and providing a safe and sound environment for the war-hit nation that guarantees their iinteress as well.

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The Kabul Times.