Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, February 24th, 2020

Pakistan: The Safe Haven of the Terrorist Groups

Taliban announced on December 10, 2019 that they will end their fight against the US forces, but they will continue fighting the Afghan National Defense and Security forces. This announcement received mixed reactions; while the international community, especially the United Sates welcomed the act, Afghan welcomed not attacking the US forces, but they strongly condemned continuing attacking on ANDSF. Further, Senator Lindsey Graham stated on the same day that the war would end in few weeks if Pakistan denied the Taliban safe haven in its territory. Then he suggested the US to negotiate with Pakistan and not Taliban to end the long war in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan considers this a good development. Because Afghanistan has several times raised this issue at the national and international levels that the root cause of war in Afghanistan is in Pakistan.  It is a sad reality that Afghanistan is suffering more than 4 decades due to Pakistan’s interferences in its domestic issues. Pakistan has supported the specific Afghan opposition.
Why Taliban Accepts to Stop Attacking the US Forces
Pakistan has been under pressure by the US president for supporting Taliban and other terrorist groups. As a result, the US has stopped providing aid to Pakistan. Now, Pakistan wants to achieve tree goals by ordering Taliban not to attack the US troops; 1) to benefit from the US aid; 2) Weakening or toppling the elected government of Kabul and to put Taliban in the power as its proxy group. 3) To keep busy Pakistan terrorist groups in Afghanistan and other countries not to pose any threat against its own security.
The US and Taliban may reach a deal soon as the U.S. President Donald Trump is impatient to get U.S. forces out of Afghanistan and end the 18-year war that was launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
What concerns Afghans is the increasing political tensions and divisions among Afghan political leaders. The presidential election is already a nightmare to the nation while there is deep disagreement between President Ghani and CEO Abdullah’s teams on the number of the votes and announcement of the preliminary results. And the Independent Election Commission has failed to satisfy Abudullah’s team about the vote counts and results. The IEC has just added to the problem by its indecisiveness.
Is an Interim Government a Good Option?
Forming an Interim government means starting anything from the scratch for Afghans. As the Taliban has retreated once and again they do not accept the current constitution of the country, the main concern of most of the people is that, the interim government will pave the way for losing the constitution, 18 years democratic achievements, basic civil and human rights in Afghanistan. If this happens, the US may reach a peace deal with Taliban, but it will not be a lasting peace in the country. Because that way, Taliban will resume treating people the same way as they did when they captured Kabul and other main cities of Afghanistan. Afghan Taliban showed no religious and ethnic tolerance during their rule; many women and men were killed just for their religious beliefs or belonging to a different ethnic group. As a result, return of the Taliban means return of the total nightmare again.
The US peace talks with the Taliban has been resumed and it is expected that the two sides will soon reach a deal. What concerns the Afghans is that Taliban try to topple the Afghan government with the support of the Pakistan Generals in order to replace their proxy groups in the country. Such act will make many Afghans to take guns and start fighting Taliban; because they have treated many Afghan women and men discriminately in the past. Religious and ethnic discrimination by Taliban against Afghans is clear to the world, and Afghans will never accept to be ruled by the same rules by the Taliban again. As a result, the US and international community must be very cautious against any deal that enables the Taliban to return to the power again.