Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, August 15th, 2020

Afghanistan Needs to a True Peace Talks

Everyone is in the picture that there was a long period negotiation between the United States and Taliban without any ultimate outcome. Within the period, nine rounds of talks were held between the two sides in Qatar which finally resulted to signing an agreement, but in last moment President Trump stopped the negotiation process and refused to sign the agreement which was the result of nearly one year efforts. Although the US president justified it with the killing of a US citizen in Kabul, certainly there was other reasons which contributed to the reject of the agreement between the two parts.
Because the content of the agreement leaked out, many senior US officials and reputable international experts knew it as one-sided agreement in favor of the Taliban and so the US government was warned by various stakeholders for its negative consequences. In fact, the talks were ended with a draft agreement which faced with widespread criticism inside and outside of the United States. The Americans top leaders finally decided that no negotiation is better than bad negotiation. Those US officials who served in Afghanistan issued a joint statement that the US troop withdrawal from the country would lead to another civil war. Indeed, they believed that the US agreement with the Taliban would have nothing to do with the peace and security of Afghanistan except legitimizing a criminal groups who shed the blood of thousands innocent people in the past two or three decades. For this reason, they described the US troop’s withdrawal from Afghanistan disastrous and irresponsible act.
Undoubtedly, the peace process, which was led by Khalilzad on behalf of the United States, had some apparent achievement but it was not in line with a real peace and interests of the Afghan people. In fact, this apparent achievement was a terrible setback to the nineties overwhelming emirate system over the republican. In addition, the Taliban which was recognized as a terrorist group was inadvertently legitimized them and then became able to travel to the capital regional countries. The peace development could have provided the United States with a way out of the Afghan crisis, but it was no more than a disaster for the people of Afghanistan and its future. In such a condition, no one was sure what would happen after entrusting the fate of a nation to hand of terrorists and their regional supporters.
What were largely overlooked in this process were the government and the people of Afghanistan. Undoubtedly, the future of this country belongs to the Afghan people and its positive and negative consequences will also affect on the fate of these people, but the role of these people were ignored in the peace process. The terms of the agreement had been adjusted accordance with interests and demand of Taliban only. Thus, the contents of agreement created a mentality as if they were able to force the United States and the international community to leave Afghanistan through the military forces. In such a condition, how can one know that the interests of these people are ensured and their essential demands are taken into account in the framework of such agreement?
That is why the Afghan government was reluctant and even skeptical about the US-Taliban peace process and repeatedly announced its position about the peace process. Once, the Afghan Presidency deeply expressed concerns about the implications of the agreement and called the United States to explain the agreement consequences. Thus, the Civil Society Network Groups has also expressed concerns over the achievements of the past two decades and called for the preservation of these achievements in Afghanistan. Overall, the Afghan people and government appreciate those peace efforts to be fair and genuine, and under the leadership and management of the Afghan government. Therefore, any attempt to bypass the Afghan government and only provide the interests of foreigners will not be acceptable to the Afghan government and people.
In parallel to the Qatar negotiations, the Afghan government emphasized on holding presidential elections and held the election in accordance with the law and. The government argued that the peace process could only be achieved under the leadership of a legitimate government, based on the real votes of the Afghan people, and a weak or interim government could not defend from legitimate interests of the Afghan people. From this point of view, holding the presidential election was a great historic step for the Afghan people crossing from a difficult and uneven political hill. Almost no one believed in the elections, everyone wanted something different from the peace process, and saw the election as an obstacle to achieving their illegitimate demands.
Now that the elections have been held and the preliminary results are going to be announced in the near future. After the final results are announced, the next government will powerfully run the peace process with a higher legal authority and firmer determination. Peace is not a game that destroys the fate of the people and imposes its dangerous consequences on the shoulders of the nation. Peace is a public demand which cannot be successful unless carefully scrutinized all its positive and negative consequences in coordination with public interests and demands.
Currently, the complexity of peace is that neither the Taliban nor the neighboring countries have reached a consensus on how to agree. Since the issue of Afghanistan has both domestic and international dimensions, all stakeholders of the peace process must be taken into consideration; otherwise, any incomplete agreement will lead to a fragile and crisis-prone peace.