Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, October 29th, 2020

Neighboring Countries Interference as the Main Cause of Continued Conflicts

Afghanistan may soon start Intra-Afghan peace talks to end one of the longest world conflicts. It is more than four decades that Afghanistan is struggling with the conflicts. During this period, Afghans have fought for and against two world super powers; the USSR and the USA as well.
On December 24, 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, under the pretext of upholding the Soviet-Afghan Friendship Treaty of 1978. The response of Afghans was strong and clear. Afghan religious and political leaders started calling the people for jihad against the Soviet Union troops. After a while, they fled to Pakistan and Iran to establish their bases in these countries. Then the US, Saudi Arabia, some European countries started providing money and political supports to the Afghan political and military parties that were established in Pakistan, Iran and other countries.
In April 1988, after years of stalemate, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed a peace accord with Afghanistan. In February 1989, the last Soviet soldier left Afghanistan. What Afghan citizens expected was that they may embrace peace after years of war. However, it did not happen. First, Afghan Mujahidin groups started fighting against each other. Some factions fought against each other for ethnic reasons and some fought for ethnic and religious reasons. However, there were groups that just fought for gaining more power.
The question that we shall ask ourselves is that who supported these factions to fight in Afghanistan. And also, we shall ask ourselves why they supported the conflict continue in the country.
Afghan neighboring countries, regional and international powers supported the armed groups in Afghanistan to fight against each other. The reason they supported these groups included weakening and demolishing the Afghan powerful army, destroy its economic infrastructures and make the country more dependent to them. Finally, they wanted to install a totally puppet government in Afghanistan. The last effort to this end was the formation of Taliban terrorist group and providing it overall support to rule Afghanistan.
Now, after about two decades of war on terror, we are at the verge of Intra-Afghan peace talks. Nearly all the players who were involved in the war during the USSR invasion are involved in Afghan peace talks in one or another way. Afghan neighbors have their own national interests and concerns in Afghanistan. The same applies to the regional and beyond powers. As the US and Taliban agreement showed, these countries try to ensure their own interests and what remains unresolved is the concerns of the Afghan citizens.
Afghan citizens fear that the story of the USSR withdrawal repeats itself; at the end of the Intra-Afghan peace talks either there would be a weak post peace talks government established that does not enjoy overall legitimacy or the conflict may continue as the different warring parties interests have not been ensured due to interference of certain countries.
To reach a sustainable peace agreement in Afghanistan all Afghan ethnic groups shall be involved in the peace talks and all the ethnic groups shall have a fair share in the government according to the percentage of their population in the country. If a certain country, or some certain countries make measures to sideline a specific ethnic or religious group from the governance system it will damage any expected peace deal in the country.