Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, November 28th, 2020

Killing Civilians Has No Justification and Will Derail Peace Talks

Afghans viewed the peace talks with doubt and disappointment, which has been compounded with the Taliban’s escalated militancy. So far, the Taliban group has played a foul game as it sat across from the government’s negotiating team and, simultaneously, continued spilling the blood of Afghan soldiers and civilians. The group never intended to respect the rights, freedoms, and dignity of the people of Afghanistan.
The Taliban are likely to seek to play a foul game at the negotiating table as they reportedly maintained their ties with al-Qaeda and refused to declare ceasefire or reduce violence. US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who unusually aired his disappointment, said that the door for talks would not remain open forever. The Taliban killed much time through persisting on their demands and preconditions, refusing to hold talks with the Afghan government, and haggling over concessions.
Perhaps, if Joe Biden wins the US elections, he would review the peace process as well as the US-Taliban peace agreement. The Taliban are apprehensive about the Biden’s victory as they reportedly prayed for Donald Trump’s triumph. The Taliban are worried that Biden would review the complete withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan and undo their peace agreement, especially if the Taliban continue dishonoring their deal.
It is believed that Afghan people are discontented with the Trump administration, which gave great legitimacy to the Taliban group through signing deal with, delisting its leaders from the UN blacklist, and turning a blind eye to the Taliban’s acts of violence. Worst, the Afghan government was not included in the US-Taliban negotiations. As a result, peace and stability remained elusive in the country.
Despite his bragging, Trump could not end the American war in Afghanistan and the war on terror failed. After all, Trump declared to withdraw US forces from the country despite the fact that the Taliban are strengthened more than five years ago. Contrary to his words that he was “a problem solver”, Trump generated much problem. The challenges in Afghanistan are getting further complicated. On day-to-day basis, larger number of Afghan civilians fall victims to terrorist attacks.
Afghan officials said that the Taliban group was behind the attack on Kabul University although the group denied the responsibility. Afghan first vice president Amrullah Saleh tweeted only days ago, “I went through the evidence and investigation report related to Kabul University massacre this morning at my 0630 regular meeting. IT IS THE WORK OF THE TALIBAN. Period. The smoking gun style hard evidence is on the way. I wonder why Pakistani media is defensive and nervous? WHY?”
Political pundits also believe that the Taliban seek to mask their inhumane acts and violation of civilians’ rights as they fear national and international reaction. The Taliban intend to put the government and officials under question. The group also seeks concessions through intensifying their attacks against Afghan non-combatants.
Although the IS group claimed responsibility, it is not believed by Afghan officials since the group was defeated. It is self-explanatory that the IS claim responsibility for any attacks to generate fear and magnify their presence.
The Taliban have constantly violated the rights and freedoms of Afghan people for their self-interests. They spilled the blood of men, women, and children to put the government under question.
It is still believed that the Taliban are playing a foul game at the peace table as they, on the one hand, hold talks and, on the other hand, shed the blood of people. Intensification of attacks amidst peace talks is likely to derail the peace process and fill the public air with mistrust and disappointment.
Few days back, the Afghan clerics condemned the ongoing war in Afghanistan and said that it had no religious justification. But the Taliban never hesitated killing ordinary Afghans.
It is self-evident that the Taliban are widely engaged in killing Afghan civilians and they murder people without an iota of mercy or guilt. Government’s negotiating team aptly said that if the Taliban were not behind the attacks on Kabul University, they have to declare ceasefire. Will the Taliban be ready to prover their goodwill, if they ever have, through declaring ceasefire or reducing violence?
After the attack on Kabul University, a number of university students protested against the militant group in Kabul urging not to kill students as they believed that the Taliban carried out the attack. In short, carrying out indiscriminate attacks and targeting educational centers will backfire since it is in the interests of no parties. All militant groups have to stop targeting educational centers, killing students, and civilians.