18-months talks between the US and the Afghan Taliban in Doha Qatar are in final stage and there is a hope talks would bring Peace in war-beaten Afghanistan which is bleeding since 1979 US-funded Russo-Afghan war.
Afghanistan had been a testing ground for conventional weapons for former Soviet Russia and by entire NATO— led by United States. Intervention of former Soviet Union and US-sponsored Jihad left Afghan nation only in poverty and blood. Alas, Afghan factions after the withdrawal of Soviet troops fought with each other for poppy power and left more damage to country than done by Soviet War. These factions held peace talks and took oath on Holly Quran not to attack with each other but war never stopped till Taliban rose on the scene and then US came back with Operation Enduring Freedom on October 7, 2001 and still ruining this already destroyed country.
Now US and Taliban are sitting for truce and this new agreement will set a timeline for withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan.
Taliban would commit to nonuse of Afghan soil against any country in the world along with and delinking the group from terrorist organizations. Signing of the agreement will set to seek intra Afghan dialogue on internal dynamics of Afghanistan including the system of governance, nature of constitution and other matters. Peace process is likely to take few months before a clear blueprint of future Afghanistan emerges.
Pakistan has genuine stakes in the peace and stability in Afghanistan and has played its active role in facilitation of the Doha Peace Process. Pakistan’s genuine contribution for Afghanistan peace have been recognized by all stake holders including the US, China and Russia. Pakistan will whole heartedly accept the collective decisions taken jointly by the Afghans for a peaceful future.
Pakistan has been urging for a peaceful and friendly Afghanistan feeling genuinely for the Afghan as well as for its own future. Any negative effect on Afghan population directly impacts deeply interlinked Pakistan.
After having defeated the menace of terrorism inside Pakistan’s own borders people and Government of Pakistan wish peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.
Afghan peace and progress will open unlimited avenues of cooperation and progress for both countries through mutual and multiple engagements in trade, commerce and connectivity. This promising scenario will help positive engagements of people to people and official relationship between two neighbours termed ‘Conjoined Twins’ by former Afghan president Hamid Karzai.
A letter of Taliban deputy leader Siraj-Ud- Din Haqqani published in the New York Times of United States on February 20, 2020 gives an idea of the positive change in the Taliban mindset. One should not forget to remember that Haqqani is ranked as “Top Terrorist” on US Terror list. One can question that publication of article written by Siraj-Ud- Din Haqqani in New York Times and one can say that thousands of people who were killed by NATO weapons for being part of Haqqani group were actually innocent people and were not terrorists. How a Top terrorist can write article for New York Times?, is a question of 21 century.
Taliban deputy leader talked about building a consensus among Afghans, process of genuine discussions and deliberations without foreign domination and interference, commitment to work with all parties, building an all-inclusive political system where no Afghan feels excluded.
However, he stressed to go into the process without any preconditions or predetermined outcomes. Siraj-Ud- Din Haqqani expressed the hope and confidence that if we can reach an agreement with a foreign enemy, we (Afghans) must be able to resolve intra-Afghan disagreements through talks.
He expressed the hope that Afghans together will find a way to build an Islamic system in which all Afghans have equal rights, where the rights of women granted by Islam — from the right to education to the right to work — are protected, and where merit is the basis for equal opportunity. He also expressed the wish to work with international partners based on respect for Afghan sovereignty and stability.
The views of the Taliban deputy leader illustrate good news for Afghans and for Pakistanis as second most affected nation form Afghan crisis.
President Ashraf Ghani has been announced as winner of the Presidential elections held in September 2019. However, the stance of the election commission has been challenged by the other presidential candidates including incumbent Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who has even threatened to establish a parallel government. Other actors, like First vice President Rashid Dostum have also criticized announcement of Ghani’s victory. Another Presidential candidate Rehmat Ullah Nabil has asked for establishing a reconciliation government as solution of the crisis. It is high time that the Afghan leaders understand the importance of peace. Inclusive stance of Taliban must be reciprocated and future peace and stability of Afghanistan must be kept as first principle to end the crisis.
History has once again provided a chance to Afghans to sit and solve their differences through dialogue. A failure to grab the opportunity is not an option. If Afghan leaders do not settle their differences at this important juncture, people will blame only them.
All international and regional actors including Pakistan are expected to play a positive role without any discrimination to afford peace a genuine chance. Afghans deserve international partnership and support in their new journey, only if they demonstrate traditional Afghan wisdom, adopt unity and shed petty differences.