By: Lailuma Noori
Days ahead of the Istanbul Summit, US special peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has left for Turkey. He began the trip on Thursday in an effort to encouraging both Afghanistan government and Taliban to speed up peace negotiations.
In a statement on Saturday, the US State Department said: “He will engage the two sides on their preparatory efforts for talks on a political settlement that produces a permanent ceasefire and a durable and just peace.”
The diplomat would also meet stakeholders to discuss how the region and the international community could facilitate talks between the warring sides. This comes at a time that Turkey is expected to host a UN-led conference on Afghanistan peace process in the near future with parties from all sides of the conflict are scheduled to attend.
On the other hand, senior advisor to President Ghani on Public Relations and strategic Affairs Waheed Omar says the Taliban group is fighting Afghanistan government and has not intention to peace as it has not stopped bloodshed in the country.
Taliban is considered as closed group which does not accept any flexibility. The group should change and gradually share their visions with the people of Afghanistan. If they reject plan of Afghanistan government, it should deliver an alternative plan as rejection cannot resolve the problem.
The people of Afghanistan have experienced their participation and partnership within the system for the past 20 years; therefore, the issue does not depend to rejection or approval of the Taliban group. Taliban should know that today’s Afghanistan is different comparing to yesterday’s Afghanistan.
The people do not want the close system of Taliban anymore.
According to a US-based Afghan political expert and researcher Edriss Rahmani, there are two or three considerable ways: firstly, US special peace envoy at least can convince Taliban to show some flexibility. Secondly, working close with Islamabad can help exert pressures on Taliban to show some flexibilities, while the third way is the battlefield.
In ongoing peace talks, more issues should be considered. For example, the main demands of the people of Afghanistan, permanent ceasefire, the republic system, protection of the human rights values as well as the rights of Afghan women should be included in the peace talks with Taliban group.
One of the key issues is our national constitution that should be considered in the coming peace talks in Istanbul Conference as it is the guardian of political stability and national unity of the people of Afghanistan and can be the only framework for our national and social life.
It is worth mentioning that the Istanbul summit on Afghanistan peace process is going to be held next month in Turkey’s Istanbul city.
Besides Afghanistan government and Taliban delegations, representatives from the UN, US, Russia, China and other countries will attend the event.