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Editorial

Strengthening consensus for peace in Afghanistan

High resolution digital render of Afghanistan flag.

The landscape of peace talks is still ambiguous. The Taliban and Afghan government could not reach any agreement in Doha talks, and Taliban continue to attack major cities, carry out targeted assassinations and escaped from the negotiating table in golf country, which make Afghan people highly frustrated.
Now different regional and trans-regional countries are pushing for a new start to the stalled peace process and have agreed to hold Istanbul meeting on Afghan peace process. But Afghans fear the talks will not lead to sustainable peace if the negotiating sides continue controversy and do not agree about truce. Neither the US-Taliban peace agreement nor the start of the intra-Afghan dialogue has so far led to peace or reduction of violence.
Hinting to rumors about US-brokered peace plans, the Presidential Palace on Thursday said that President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s peace plan was not meant to counter the US plan; instead, it provides a roadmap for peace in Afghanistan.
Wahid Omar, a senior adviser to the Afghan leader, said that the Afghan people will not accept a peace in which a few political elites come together and share the government, adding that such an approach will fuel more instability in the country.
“The president’s roadmap for peace is not a retaliation or an approval of others’ plan, it provides a roadmap for peace,” He said Omar. Reportedly, the president’s plan says that Afghanistan will hold elections within six months’ time for a peaceful transition of power.
Indeed, the talks will be meaningful for ordinary Afghans if they feel reduction of violence or ceasefire. Reduction of violence or declaration of ceasefire, which are reiterated by Afghan side, will fill the atmosphere with hope and trust. If there is mistrust between the negotiators, talks will not bear the desired result.
To push the peace process forward, Afghan leaders seek regional and international consensus. The trips of President Ghani and chairman of the high council for national reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah to regional countries could have positive impacts as these countries reiterated their supports for a united, prosperous, democratic and independent Afghanistan.
But Afghans yet to see tangible efforts from these countries, as our people still bearing the brunt of war. Despite of the talks in Qatar, Afghan people still pay heavy sacrifices, as they are being targeted and martyred in this for that. The Taliban have to prove their genuine intention, if they have, for talks through reducing violence and stopping killing civilians. To put it succinctly, reduction in violence and declaration of truce will, in addition to creating hope and trust for the public, be conducive to sustainable peace and stability.
If the group is not genuine in its will for peace, holding of the peace talks, as in the past, would bear no results, rather the group will earn international reputation and will continue to press Afghans for its non-Islamic and illegal demands.
It’s hoped the Istanbul meeting seek a total different approach to the war and conflict in the country and an agreement needed to be reached with consensus from the Afghan masses and the regional countries, so that to guarantee peace, stability, development and the gains in the areas of human and women’s rights, democracy and freedom of expression in the country.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan news, us, China & World News.