Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, October 25th, 2020

How to Address the Issues Between Armed groups in the Peace Talks

Current negotiations in Afghanistan probably focus on “talks about talks.” If they go deeper than that, media reports suggest the discussions focus on gaining Taliban agreement to stop fighting, securing Taliban recognition of the Afghan Constitution, ending Taliban ties with al-Qaida and Pakistan. A comprehensive Afghan peace process requires to work on Issues between armed group for developing a high-level political settlement between armed groups; increasing legitimacy for the Afghan government; and building a national public consensus on the future relations between diverse groups. A political settlement without significant progress in Issues between armed group
dimensions would be unlikely to produce a sustainable peace.   High-level reconciliation and low-level reintegration are important components of an Afghan peace process. There are many contentious issues between international forces, the Afghan government, and armed opposition groups. The concept of principled negotiation and community-level peacebuilding provides a foundation for thinking through a more meaningful plan for reintegration and reconciliation between armed opposition groups and Afghan society. There are many issues requiring discussion between armed groups. Those mentioned frequently include the status of forces of armed troops, whether the United States will keep permanent bases in Afghanistan, how armed groups take accountability for civilian deaths, and issues like drug trafficking and the interpretation of sharia (Islamic law) and how this impacts the rights of minorities and women.
There are significant divisions within the international community, within the Afghan government, and within armed opposition groups. The international coalition disagrees on the level of success they are achieving, with some pulling their troops out for lack of progress. Within the Afghan government, well-intentioned bureaucrats disagree with colleagues profiting from the corruption, drug trade, and military conflict. Within the armed opposition groups, divisions over whether to negotiate and how to define the ideal outcome of the armed conflict are so great that groups kill each other even though they share a common enemy in the government and international forces. Armed opposition groups fight for different reasons. Some fight against repressive government warlords and government corruption. Some have simple economic motives to secure basic employment or greedier, ambitious economic motives to profit from the instability.
When it comes to identifying government corruption or drug trafficking as a key issue in the conflict, the international community, and Afghan civil society share many similar concerns. The armed opposition groups are able to appeal to Afghans precisely because locals perceive their stated grievances on government corruption and drug trafficking as legitimate. The international community and Afghan civil society, on the other hand, rightly point a finger at all those in armed opposition groups, the Afghan government, and the international community who profit from the ongoing war, recognizing that international funding channeled through corrupt hands lands in the pockets of these war profiteers. Official negotiations are more like a triangle rather than a line between two sides. In each corner of the triangle, groups could find strange bedfellows to address shared interests.
All sides share a concern about the influence of external interests in Afghanistan. International forces are concerned about the influence of Pakistan, Iran, China, and other countries. In repeated polls and focus groups, a majority of Afghans report a perception that Pakistan plays a significant role in supporting the Taliban. Many Afghans believe the war in Afghanistan cannot be ended without robust regional diplomacy that also includes Pakistan, India, Iran,
Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, China, and other countries. A lack of sustained diplomatic activity or sufficient economic, political, security, and territorial incentives for countries in the region to participate in such a process is considered as the main challenges of the Afghan peace talks. As Armed opposition groups get support from external bases thus requiring that any peace process include political solutions on all sides of Afghanistan’s borders.
The issues between armed groups is one of the big concerns of the Afghan people and international community in the Intra-Afghan talks. As Afghan government is negotiating with the Taliban, the war continues in the country. One assumption says that intensification of the war is that Taliban negotiators want to get more results from the Afghan government by putting it under excessive pressures in the battlefields. However, another assumption says intensifying the war is due to lack of control of Taliban on their commanders who do not support the idea of the peace talks with Afghan government. The third assumption says it is ISIS, Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups that have increased their attacks on the Afghan forces to undermine the peace talks and power of the Taliban.