Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, August 7th, 2020

Wrong Conflict Settlement the Main Cause of the Peace Talks Failure

Several decades of conflicts in Afghanistan have brought economy its economy to the brink of collapse, creating humanitarian causalities and concerns. For decades, Afghanistan has been crippled by conflicts and civil strife in which violence and increased killings has prevalent.
While violent conflicts  have declined relatively in the south, insurgencies in the north has increased, alarming re-surfacing of conflicts in the northern parts of the country. These conflicts are often linked to several factors including poverty, human rights violations, bad governance and corruption, ethnic and religious marginalization. Although many actors including the US, international community, Afghan government and civil society have been making efforts, conflicts continue to persist in Afghanistan and their resolution is usually protracted.
The United Sates is pushing for a durable peace in Afghanistan. Based on this policy the US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has taken concrete measures to reach to a comprehensive peace deal with the Afghan Taliban. After nine round of talks between the US and Taliban delegation, these talks failed due to a brutal attack of Taliban on a civilian target that killed several Afghans and one Great American soldier in Kabul. Zalmay Khalilzad has restarted the new round of the Afghan peace talks after an unpredictable stopped  by President Trump. Despite these efforts which have achieved some appreciable success, the cradle of peace and stability in the country remains fragile and the possibility of a resurgence of Al-Qaeda and ISIS is high.
Afghan peace processes have been initiated and failed for several decades. For instance, Dr. Najib, the late Afghan president, started a national reconciliation program in 1970s but it failed. Then Afghanistan Peace and Reconciliation program started during the time of president Karzai and it had no specific results. After that President Ghani pushed for peace talks with the Taliban and it had not tangible outcomes too. And now, the US has started direct talks with the Afghan Taliban. These few examples raise the questions on the capacity and mechanisms used to resolve conflicts in Afghanistan. Consequently, failure to identify and thoroughly address the fundamental conflicts would likely cause Afghanistan to continue experiencing  and suffering the brunt of these violent conflicts.
Identifying the roots of conflicts in Afghanistan is start of the real peace process in the country. The roots of conflicts in Afghanistan are much deeper and complex, and are embedded in the interplay of historical factors, socio-economic crisis, legacies of authoritarian and the politics of exclusion, international forces and regional struggles and interferences.
As the aforementioned constitute the broader causal factors, embedded within and related to them are bad governance and corruption, human rights violations, poverty, ethic marginalization and narcotics proliferation, which continue to serve as triggers and drivers of violent conflicts in Afghanistan.
A credible settlement in Afghanistan requires to identify the root causes of conflicts in Afghanistan. At the same time, a viable solution needs Afghan men and women from all sectors of society, the government, private enterprise, tribal leaders and activists should be included in the process to work towards a consensus on peace to ensure that concerns of all parties are considered in the peace process. A peace deal based on the inclusion and consensus of all Afghans may be time consuming but would be a sustainable deal that can benefit Afghanistan, the region and beyond.