Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Intra-Afghan Talks Requires Us to Act as a Unified Nation

At the international level, in September 2018, appointment of the United States former ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, as special advisor on Afghanistan to lead State Department efforts on Afghanistan reconciliation gave some new blood onboard to bring a fresh start to how end the 17 year conflict in. As of March 2019, Khalilzad had held at least five formal rounds of meetings Afghanistan with Taliban officials. These took place in the context of the Taliban refusing to meet directly with the Afghan government and its demand for a two-step peace process: first, talks with the united States to address international aspects of the conflict (such as the withdrawal of American troops); and, second, talks with the Afghan side on internal affairs (such as the future government and the constitution). According to Khalilzad, peace requires agreement on four issues: counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogue, and a comprehensive ceasefire. Khalilzad and Taliban negotiators In January talks agreed in principle on these four elements and agreed in draft on the first two.
For its part, the Afghan government has maintained that peace talks must be Afghan-led and that no entity other than the elected, sovereign government has the right to discuss new governance formulas or structures.
Urgency of Making Progress on Intra-Afghan Dialogue
Zalmay Khalilzad on Monday arrived in Afghan capital Kabul and met Afghan officials to meet with Afghan government representatives with responsibility for the peace process, including the President’s Chief of Staff (Abdul Salam) Rahimi and secretary (Omar) Daudzai and have discussed the urgency of making process on intra-Afghan dialogue.
How to Maintain the Meaningful Political and Social Gains
Afghanistan and international community have achieved a lot. As a result Afghanistan and international community must do whatever they can to preserve these gains. For Afghans, democracies, freedom of expression, freedom of media, human rights and women’s and girl’s rights are the main achievements that need to be preserved. To realize this, it is necessary to create a single source for peace negotiations to centralize peace talks and represent the voices of the Afghans in a unified manner. The way Afghans in general and Afghan politicians in specific, act to support and maintain such a single source shapes the fate of the country determines not to return to the dark days of the past.
Afghan government has already taken some initiatives to form such a unified source. Meeting of President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday with a number of political figures and former jihadi leaders and discussed the peace process, an official has been one of the main steps toward this end. President Ghani held talks with ex-president Hamid Karzai, Ustad Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, second vice-president Sarwar Danish, High Peace Council (PHC) chief Karim Khalili, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to receive their views regarding the ongoing peace negotiations and they stressed with one voice on lasting peace in the country.
Afghan peace talks have entered a crucial phase. International community and Afghanistan government and people, men and women have worked hard and have gained a lot, especially the women. These achievements should not be stepped on in the Intra-Afghan talks. We shall prevent a peace at the price of re-influence of terrorism supporters in Afghanistan. In such case, the main losers will be the Afghan people and the international community.