The Kabul Times.
Politics

Single axis peace efforts bring no positive results

Zalmay Khalilzad

Zalmay Khalilzad has recently started his new mission and met Afghan politicians, received the opinions of political movements and politicians on Afghanistan peace talks and departed to some regional countries including Pakistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar and discussed the Afghan peace process with their senior authorities. Later on Khalilzad talked with Talban representatives in Qatar, returned to Kabul and once again called on NUG leaders and other politicians. The pivote of Khalilzad talks with Afghan, Gulf and Pakistani leaders was seeking an immediate solution to the longest war in US history.
It has been said that Mullah Abdul Ghani Brother was released as a result of Khalilzad diplomacy and his meetings with senior Pakistani and Taliban envoys. But it is important to know that what steps would Mullah Brother take? Most likely he would leave Pakistan as those Taliban leaders who were jailed in Pakistan, didn’t trust Pakistani military leaders after release. Former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef who was arrested and jailed after Sep 11 attacks, trusted no longer to Pakistan and time and again reacted against Pakistan. It is obvious to all that with arrest, Pakistan strongly insulted Mullah Brother.
The Pakistan government released photos of Mullah Brother whose hands and legs were tied with Shackle. Late 2010 a reputable American newspaper quoting several ISI authorities wrote that Mullah Brother was arrested due to this reason that he had talked with Afghan government officials without consulting ISI.
It is important point that Pakistan strictly controls Taliban foreign relations and doesn’t allow their senior authorities to talk with others without ISI permission. Therefore Mullah Brother is no longer an interesting person to Pakistan and ISI and he may not stay in Pakistan longer.
The US and perhaps some others may expect Mullah Brother to cooperate in efforts aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan. Current Taliban leaders in Pakistan are leading a luxurious life, have not tasted political- military pressure and think that ultimately would achieve military victory. Pakistan supports and controls these leaders too.
The Taliban leaders don’t realize that without taking into account the interests of Afghan government and effective political forces, the US cannot make peace with them. In such a situation it is unlikely that Mullah Brother would manage to play an important role. We wonder if Mullah Brother believes to end the war and finding a political solution in Afghanistan today or not? No one exactly knows his rate of influence and authority on Taliban militants and leaders. Mullah Brother was in jail for almost one decade.
Taliban leadership was changed two times. Whether current powerful leaders of Taliban would acknowledge any privilege to him or not?
But, for seeking peace in Afghanistan, the Americans have ousted large number of regional countries from Afghan war and peace question. They have ignored Russia, China, Iran and even India in Afghanistan peace talks, although the USA is well aware on influence, and capacities of these countries in facilitating peace talks, drawing the Taliban into negotiations and ending of war in Afghanistan.
The US special envoy on Afghanistan peace has visited two or three certain regional countries and talked with them on future of Taliban, Afghanistan peace and destiny but simply marginalized Iran, Russia, China and Afghanistan immediate neighbors of central Asian countries who are suffering from the situation of Afghanistan, while most regional countries have similar and common concern in connection to Afghanistan conflict.
Izvestia a Russian reputable newspaper has reported that nowadays, the Russian foreign ministry is involved to coordinate details of holding Moscow peace talks with different sides. Russia had invited regional and the world countries on Sep 4.2018 to attend peace talks in Moscow. But in the wake of refusal of Kabul and Washington from participation, the meeting was postponed to unknown time.
The Afghan government sent a five member delegation led by deputy foreign minister to Moscow to discuss details of the meeting. Now Russian special envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabelov has said that the meeting is expected to be held early Nov.
Some political analysts emphasizing on Russia role in Afghanistan peace talks said that Moscow can play a role in restoration of peace in Afghanistan. Russian authorities insist to hold the meeting on Nov 1.2018.
Political commentators believe that in current situation Russia doesn’t have to invite Taliban to this meeting and create a safety for them.
The Afghan government opinion is this that, first at regional level, the mechanism of bringing Taliban to talks table should be discussed in Geneva conference. The Afghan government has not yet decided to participate or not in this meeting. Soon in eminent session of National Security Council, this issue would be discussed and decided. The Afghan people sincerely welcome every step at regional and global level on improvement of regional and international consensus aimed to exert pressure on those who disturb peace process.
The Afghan HPC expressed hope that once again the world countries would support this process. It has been reported that Mullah Brother was released following visit of Khalilzad with Taliban.
Anyway, we should wait and see that all these parallel and single axis effort of Moscow and Washington in Afghan peace process would culminate to what outcome ultimately.
Abdul Akbar Noorzad

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The Kabul Times.