The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Time for Afghans to work together for peace

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The US and the Taliban signed a conditional peace agreement in Doha, Qatar on Saturday that could see the steady withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan and the end of America’s longest-running war.
The deal, which follows a seven-day reduction in violence, commits the US to cutting the number of troops in Afghanistan down to 8,600 within the first 135 days and removing all remaining troops within 14 months of the signing. The Taliban, however, must “not allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including al-Qa’ida, to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.”
Indeed, the Afghan government deserves credit for providing the path for peace, as two years ago, it offered unconditional talks to the Taliban and announcing a unilateral cease-fire that led into a three-day pause in hostilities in June 2018. Since then, the Afghan government continued to reach out to the Taliban and sent some officials in July to an informal peace dialogue in Doha that brought together the warring sides for the first time.
In February, the government of Afghanistan agreed to stop its operations against the Taliban for seven days to facilitate the first formal negotiations between Afghan government and the insurgents.
But the negotiations between an inclusive Afghan government-led team with the Taliban offer Afghans a historic opportunity to end the war. If these talks are going to deliver peace, both the Afghan government and the Taliban urgently need to think more clearly about their coming talks and what they envision as the potential outcomes.
In October of 2019, President Ghani announced a plan articulating his vision for peace. He laid out the steps for peace talks with the United States and NATO about the withdrawal of their forces and a subsequent counterterrorism framework. The plan includes the creation of an inclusive Afghan team to negotiate with the Taliban and talking to regional and global partners to ensure national security and cooperation to develop the Afghan economy in “post-peace agreement”.
Despite multiple obstacles and issues on the path to durable peace in the country, the start of intra-Afghan talks is more likely now than ever before. The international community needs to swiftly agree on a plan to help the negotiations move forward. 
In the past 18 months, Afghans witnessed a race between several governments to host US-Taliban negotiations. While it was in Qatar that the talks eventually reached a successful conclusion, the Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Russia, UAE and Saudi Arabia tried to stage and facilitate negotiations.
What is needed to help the country move forward is a multitude of intra-Afghan talks – meetings between key government and political players, local and provincial figures and civil society leaders of all levels. This can help build trust among local communities across Afghanistan and deliver a political settlement that can ensure sustainable peace. 
The opportunity shouldn’t be wasted, and all the strata of the society must join hands and support government’s plan for peace and stability in the country. the politicians should have the capacity too to help peace talks significantly and play a constructive role in resolving complex conflicts. Nevertheless, they sometimes try to use such negotiations to score political points at home, which would harm the peace process.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.