Afghan peace process

The Financial Daily - - NATIONAL -

TAgha Ma­sood

he spe­cial en­voy of USA for Afghanistan Mr Zal­may Khalilzad has ar­rived in Pak­istan to dis­cuss the peace process with Pak­istani of­fi­cial seek­ing their help to end the con­flict in Afghanistan by bring­ing Afghan Tal­iban on ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble. Be­fore the ar­rival of Zal­may Khalilzad to Pak­istan, the US Pres­i­dent Mr Don­ald Trump had writ­ten a let­ter to Mr Im­ran Khan the PM of Pak­istan to fa­cil­i­tate the peace process with Afghan Tal­iban. Ear­lier the Pres­i­dent Trump had crit­i­cized Pak­istan for not do­ing enough for end­ing the 17 years old con­flict caus­ing huge losses in terms of hu­man lives on both sides, but now the pres­i­dent wants Pak­istan to help and force Afghan Tal­iban for the ne­go­ti­ated set­tle­ment. Pak­istan has re­sponded pos­i­tively to the re­quest of the US pres­i­dent and will ex­plore all pos­si­bil­i­ties which would be help­ful to bring peace in war torn Afghanistan. In the past Pak­istan has con­tributed its mite to bring Afghan Tal­iban in Dhoa, MURRE, Bei­jing and Rus­sia but so far no tan­gi­ble re­sults has emerged out of th­ese ne­go­ti­a­tion in which US rep­re­sen­ta­tives were also present. How­ever, it may be men­tioned that Pak­istan has no to­tal con­trol over Afghan Tal­iban, many groups of Afghan Tal­iban are op­er­at­ing with dif­fer­ent ideas but all the Groups want for­eign forces to leave Afghanistan and con­duct free and fair elec­tions un­der the UN su­per­vi­sion.

It may be men­tioned here that with­out the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Iran in the peace set­tle­ment with Afghan Tal­iban, no progress can be achieved as Iran is a close neigh­bor of Afghanistan and has given shel­ter to Afghan peo­ple like Pak­istan when US forces at­tacked in 2001. To my mind the Afghan prob­lem can be set­tled by give and take while Afghan Tal­iban need firm as­sur­ances from USA to va­cate its oc­cu­pa­tion and let the true rep­re­sen­ta­tives be al­lowed to rule the coun­try. More­over, the forth­com­ing elec­tions in Afghanistan will not be le­git­i­mate as the present Gov­ern­ment of Ashraf Ghani does not en­joy the sup­port of the Afghan peo­ple, the war lords are also neg­a­tive fac­tor in Afghanistan whose main aim to let US forces be in Afghanistan and US aid should con­tinue to stash it in their pocket. Sim­i­larly In­dia does not de­sire peace in Afghanistan as she wants to destab­lise Pak­istan as well to sab­o­tage the mega eco­nomic project of CPEC. There­fore how peace process can be suc­cess­ful when anti peace forces I men­tioned above are big­gest hur­dle to peace set­tle­ment in Afghanistan. Pak­istan has al­ways played pos­i­tive role to the peace process but the fi­nal de­ci­sion rests with Afghan Tal­iban who have suf­fered hugely be­cause of war led by US and Nato forces. Pak­istan sin­cerely wants peace process to suc­ceed as Pak­istan has also suf­fered be­cause of the war in Afghanistan, the ter­ror­ists from Afghanistan sneak into Pak­istan to cre­ate havoc in the peace­ful ar­eas of Pak­istan, once peace comes to stay in Afghanistan, Pak­istan will be ex­tremely happy to lend its full sup­port on sus­tain­able ba­sis but the key to the suc­cess of peace process lies with USA, the one who started the war and now its her duty to end it through ne­go­ti­a­tions with Tal­iban.

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