There has been a rise and fall in the prospects of peace in Afghanistan with the negotiations between the US representatives and the Taliban in the Qatari capital of Doha. The US officials have recently cited progress in the talks, which generated optimism for Afghans on achieving a durable peace in the country.
US President Trump has conditionally approved a peace deal with the Taliban leadership saying that the agreement will be signed if the Taliban prove their commitment to a durable reduction of violence over a test period of about seven days later this month.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference on President Ghani’s recent trip to the Munich Security Conference on Tuesday, the presidential spokesman said that the US-Taliban peace deal is conditional and will be “finalized next week.”
“Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, and Mark Esper, US Secretary of Defense, in a meeting with President Ghani told him that none of the peace agreement article is ‘without conditions,’” Sediqqi said.
According to the presidential spokesman, the demand of the government of Afghanistan was a ceasefire, but agreements have been made over a major reduction in violence, adding that “we hope that this opportunity brings peace.” He said that the Afghan forces are working to coordinate with US forces over reduction in violence.
But Afghans and political experts believe that the only possible way to peace is for the Taliban to announce a comprehensive ceasefire and agree to hold direct talks with the Afghan government. Sidelining the Afghan government in such key talks would lead the process to a complete deadlock. The Afghan government is one of the main elements of the talks and its role should not be ignored.
Indeed, Taliban’s political movement has time and again committed to reduce violence, however the group’s military wing continued to attack civilians, Afghan and international forces in different provinces, which even led to termination of the talks by the US president.
Now that the group has once again agreed to a major reduction of violence, it is of immense important for the US, its allies and the Afghan government to clearly monitor their moves and stance before the deal, as US had said before, that will not sign the deal unless Taliban prove their commitments for reduction of violence in the country.
Considering Taliban’s continued stance and stress for war and bloodshed in the country, Afghans do have doubt that the group would agree to reduction of violence and then to a full ceasefire in the country. Taliban have clearly shown that they are not willing to retreat from its main dogmatic claims and views. They have repeatedly divulged their intentions in the battle fields and also in table of negotiations.
Therefore, at one side, there are Taliban values and its backers and on the other side Afghan government and its supporters who claim to advocate a peace in which all two decades of achievements should be protected. If the group could not implement what they have committed, then the international community is required to deal with the group as the terrorist network and no longer give them the chance to utilize such talks for their own interests, which is militancy in the country.