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Peace in Afghanistan? – Journal – DAWN.COM




While the situation on the ground in Afghanistan is far from ideal, if parallel peace processes collapse between the Afghan Taliban and the US / NATO alliance and between the Taliban and the government in Kabul, the situation will degenerate further. After the arrival of the Biden administrations in Washington, many questions remain about the fate of the Trump-era US-Taliban peace agreement. After all, the White House has said it will reconsider the deal while NATO officials recently said they have postponed a decision on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Foreign troops are to leave the country on May 1, in accordance with the US-Taliban agreement. It is in this atmosphere of uncertainty that Prime Minister Imran Khans calls on all Afghan actors to seize the opportunity for peace. He reiterated this point during a meeting with an Afghan delegation in Islamabad on Thursday.

The point is, the air of confusion has an impact on the peace process. For example, talks between Kabul and the Taliban in Doha are frozen, while the Taliban have issued a terrible warning to NATO about the postponement of the troop withdrawal. The point is that foreign forces on all sides, the Taliban as well as the Afghan government must do more to revive the faltering peace process. The Taliban bear a fair share of the blame, as they have continued to stay on the battlefield while talking about peace. This hardly creates an atmosphere conducive to dialogue. In fact, a recent US report said the Taliban is failing to deliver on its part of the deal. However, the dilemma here is that foreign forces cannot stay in Afghanistan indefinitely. In reality, it is the interference of foreigners, the Soviets and later the Americans that has played a major role in the destabilization of Afghanistan in recent decades, as well as the endless thirst for power of the strong and Afghan warlords.

As we have already written in these columns, the very brief window to a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan is closing quickly. If the Taliban abandon the peace process, they will come back to square one. The Taliban themselves must show more commitment to the peace process by reducing violence. The United States, on the other hand, must send a clear message that it intends to stick to the dialogue. Ultimately, it is up to the two main Afghan players in this geopolitical game that the government in Kabul and the Taliban decide the future of their country. If they fail to achieve a modus vivendi, foreigners will continue to intervene in Afghanistan. Several generations in Afghanistan have seen only war; It is time for those who wield power in this country to make bold decisions and end this long nightmare for the Afghan people.

Posted in Dawn, February 20, 2021

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