Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, September 28th, 2020

What Peace Deal Afghans Expect

Afghan Peace process is one of the most crucial issues of the country. Currently, the main unresolved issues according to the Secretary of the State of the US are showing a demonstrable evidence of the Taliban will and capacity to reduce violence, to take down the threat in order to pave the way for the Inter-Afghan talks. What is clear is that there is a long way to go for peace in Afghanistan. Any deal that the United States reaches with the Taliban can affect the peace process in the country; what counts is that when the US reaches an agreement with the Taliban, it should not consider the conflict resolved in Afghanistan. In fact, it is the beginning of the main agenda; inter-Afghan talks.
What Mechanism shall be established to lead the Inter-Afghan Talks?
The main troubling issue is who shall lead the process in the country? Taliban have denied direct talks with the Afghan government so far. Though, it is a common mechanism that the national government of any country shall lead the peace talks, because at the end, it is the government that shall guarantee the peace deal. The main reason the Taliban have insisted on rejecting the direct talks with the Afghan government is that they call the Afghan government as a puppet of the US that does not represent the Afghans. However, dependency of the Taliban on Pakistan is nearly clear to any Afghan citizen. This group has been created by the ISI and has been supported by Pakistan government from the beginning up today. As a result, the Taliban group cannot make any decision without the consent of Pakistan. Therefore, it is Pakistan that does not allow the Taliban to directly negotiate with the Afghan government in order to further the gap between the government and the political leaders and benefit from such a divide.
The international community and the United States shall ensure a mechanism that can facilitate Inter-Afghan talks. Based on this mechanism the United Nations shall facilitate the talks to be led by Afghan government and shall include representatives of all political parties and civil society of Afghanistan. Preservation of the constitution, citizen’s basic rights, ethnic and religious freedom, freedom of media and preservation of 18 year democratic achievements shall be considered as the redlines of the peace talks.
Indeed, the Taliban insists on amending the constitution; in fact, there are two perceptions here; one perception is the amendment of the constitution based on the legal framework considered in the constitution. Such framework enables us to go through the constitution in order to make it more responsive to our current needs. For example, to further align it with the emerging global issues. The second approach that the Taliban peruse is drafting a new constitution. In fact, they want to draft a constitution to pave the way for an Emarat system that ignores any democratic value and system including the political democratic system. Such constitution would not ensure Afghans coexistence and having a prosperous future. Looking back to the history of the country, such system has paved the way for marginalization of Afghan ethnic, religious and gender groups in the past. It also has paved the way for ethnic genocides in the country during the era of Abdul Rahman Khan and other cruel Afghan rulers. As such, Afghans will not support such approaches that can lead to new civil conflict in the country ultimately.
Any wishful plan to settle the long-simmering Afghan conflict has almost no chance of working. That’s simply because the Afghans have nothing to gain from it. Any peace deal shall address the pressing issues including preservation of the constitution, maintaining past 18 year achievements, ensuring and maintaining the basic rights, freedom of religious and ethnic groups, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech and freedom of media.