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Editorial

Taliban’s Doha office should be closed

The Taliban’s office in Qatar opened in 2013 to facilitate reconciliation between the insurgent group, Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and US, but it has served solely as a platform for Talban’s international legitimacy, prison exchange negotiations not peace and reconciliation in the war-torn country.

US and the insurgent group reached an agreement in Doha more than a year ago, but Taliban continued to attack their Afghan fellows, however they guarded US bases in past one year. This deal had nothing to do with the prospects of the Afghan peace process, rather fueled insurgency and increasing human rights violations by the insurgent groups.

Using Doha office, Taliban tried to prolong the process and travelling to the regional countries, so that to seek legitimacy for their terror campaign. Meanwhile, the Taliban are purportedly involved in large-scale killings of Afghan civilians, seeking to impose their warped mind on people with the barrel of gun. The militant fighters shed the blood of men and women in Ghazni, Kandahar and Spin Boldak without an iota of mercy. They have not changed, not a single step.

The signs that the Taliban have not reformed are increasingly clear: An assassination campaign against government workers, civil society leaders and security forces continues on pace. There has been no effort by Taliban to proceed with peace talks with the Afghan government, despite commitments made with Washington. And in areas the insurgents have seized, women are being forced out of public-facing roles, and girls out of schools, undoing many of the gains from the last couple of decades on Western presence.

All means of pressures now a must to stop Taliban advancements and their implementation of radical ideologies. The international community should not ignore the gains made in the last two decades and shouldn’t watch Taliban’s undermine of such values.

Women are working in all sorts of fields. health care system has been transformed, and life expectancy for Afghan women has increased by almost a decade. Afghanistan has flourishing media and even the presence of cell phones indicates a society connected with the rest of the world.

Meanwhile it is the time that the Afghan government and its allies should decide on the operation of the group’s Doha office. The Taliban are not pressured to stop killing civilians or no longer impose their hardline interpretation of Sharia Law on the public under their control.

The Taliban first ban media in areas under their control to prevent the spread of their harsh practices and human rights abuses. Journalists do not dare enter areas under the Taliban’s control. Therefore, many of the group’s atrocities remain hidden and unpublished.

The group’s leaders enjoying luxury lives in Doha and using their office to recognize their militancy and their war against the Afghan people. The office has never been on the interest of Afghan people and has never brought about peace to the war-wear nation.

The international community and global parties have to decide about the functions of the Office and should pressure the Taliban not to capitalize on the US troop withdrawal and negotiate meaningfully with the Afghan government. They have to stop violating the rule of war and targeted assassinations.

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