Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

Pak-Afghan Cumulative Interaction

Since more than a decade, the Afghan government, from time to time, approached international allies and neighboring countries to find a solution for permanent peace and stability in Afghanistan and bring Taliban to the table of negotiation but all in vain. Many rounds of talks held within and outside Afghanistan failed andthey were unproductive because they were indistinct and the conditions from both sideswere vague or may be some of the prerequisites and demands by Taliban were not implementable. On the other hand, all the stake holders clearly indicated for Afghan led, Afghan owned peace process with Taliban which did not mean that all the measures should be taken by the Afghan government without knowing that National Unity Government (NUG) do not have enough capacity to directly have talk or negotiation with Taliban leadership within and outside Afghanistan. Recently,Taliban said in a statement said that they want to negotiate with US.
On Tuesday June 20, 2018, U.S. Lt. Gen. Scott Miller, the Joint Special Operations Commander said that achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan would not be possible without the cooperation of Pakistan. “Pakistan must be the part of the solution and we should have high expectation that they are part of the solution not just diplomatically but from the security stand point as well,” Miller said.
Eid Truce
Truce during Eid days both by Afghan government and Taliban vividly welcomed by Afghans as well as by the Taliban fighters. According to reports, around 35,000 Taliban fighters visited Kabul and other cities and met with ordinary Afghans. Warmly welcoming, Afghans men and women presented flowers to Taliban militants and in return, according to Taliban, they have released many Afghan soldiers previously captured, after giving them flowers and Eid gift.
Taliban
During the Eid cease fire,Taliban militants appeared very happy in selfies taken with ordinary Afghans which show they are tired of war.Though, a senior Taliban leader told media that at the end of the three-day ceasefire, an emergency meeting was called by Taliban leaders and all commanders were directed to take disciplinary action against those Taliban who had taken selfies with the people and government officials. Whereas, a Taliban commander said, “We are very tired. We are tired even if it was Jihad or service to the homeland or fight against foreigners. We are really tired of it.”
When both the Afghans and Taliban fighters are tired of war, it is important that the leaders from both sides should accept the call by their followers and join hands for permanent peace and tranquility.
Afghan Government
Afghan president, soon after Eid truce, asked Taliban leaders to further extent cease fire for one year which is, so far, rejected by Taliban.President Ghani said that the Taliban group should believe in intra-Afghan talks and specify the venue for the talks as he promised that the government is fully prepared for the negotiations adding that the Taliban group can share all their concerns with the government, prepare a plan, and start talks for the implementation of the same. The ideology must change and efforts for the self-resilience of Afghanistan must be a priority which has links to peace and stability, he added.
Role of Pakistan
Since last couple of months, Afghan delegation led by Afghan National Security Council (NSC) Chief, Hanif Atmar, had many visits to Pakistan. During his visits he had meetingswith high level Pakistani military officials including Pakistan’s chief of Army staff Gen. Qamar JavedBajwaand asked for help to bring Taliban to the table of negotiation.
It is worth mentioning here that Afghanistan on its part played admirable role by killing most wanted terroristof Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader, Mullah Fazullah. He was involved in killing of thousands of Pakistani security forces and civiliansincluding most shameful attack on Army public school, Peshawar that killed more than hundred innocent children.
The frequent visit by Afghan NSC chief, Mr. Atmar, to Pakistan and recent visits of Pakistan’s National Security Advisor, Asif Janjua, ex-prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and Army Chief Gen. Bajwa to Afghanistan and the formation of Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Prosperity (APAPPS) and joint supervision and coordination centers in both GHQ Rawalpindi and Afghan Ministry of Defense in Kabul indicate that both sides have reached an agreement or at leastrealized that it is in the best interest of the both the countries to force the common enemy to come to the negotiation table by hook or by crook.
Conclusion
Afghanistan and Pakistan are the worst affected countries because of terrorism. It not only killed tens of thousands of innocents but also lost billion in infrastructural destruction since US-led international invasion in Afghanistan in 2001.
Like Taliban militants and Afghans, International community too is tired of war and conflict and would not be able to spend their tax-payers money for the conflict that appears to have no end. It is time that both the neighboring countries diminish distrust and share responsibilitiesto fight the menace of terrorism until it is completed wiped-out from the region.
On the other hand, it is time for Taliban and its associatesto join the peace process. According to Afghan ministry of defense 1200 militants who entered Kabul during Eid truce did not return and same is the case in other provinces. Taliban should understand that this drama will not last longer because soon they will have to face huge fighters’desertions and will have no sanctuary on both sides of the border. There is possibility for comprehensive military operations on both sides of the borders.