Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

No Support For Illegitimate War

Conflict between the Taliban fighters and Afghan soldiers has been escalated as peace talks reached a stalemate. The Taliban seek to gain concessions through military means and the Afghan government resists against it, calling the Taliban to find a negotiated settlement or face the consequences.
Afghan nation and state have called on the Taliban on multiple occasions to stop killing the people, especially as the US troops are preparing to withdraw from the country. Afghan second vice president Sarwar Danesh said that the legitimacy of war in Afghanistan was ended with the foreign troop pullout.
Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani believes that Afghan soldiers have the capacity to continue the war against the Taliban and says that the full leadership of the security sector and institutions was shifted to Afghan forces since 2014 and they are fully prepared to protect the republic and defend the people.
Ghani said, “The U.S. decision surprised the Taliban and their patrons in Pakistan, and it has forced them to make a choice. Will they become credible stakeholders, or will they foster more chaos and violence? If the Taliban choose the latter path, the ANDSF will fight them. And if the Taliban still refuse to negotiate, they will be choosing the peace of the grave.” It indicates that the Afghan government is extending the olive branch, and it is the Taliban whether or not to accept.
It is self-explanatory that the Taliban group has been engaged in indiscriminate killings and bloodshed, turning a deaf ear to the public demands for peace and reconciliation. As the foreign troops are preparing to leave, the Taliban still seek to continue their insurgency, which is no longer legitimate based on their narrative of “war against the occupants”.
In my column, I reiterated that the Taliban played a foul game in the peace talks and they were never sincere in the talks as they neither honored their peace agreement with the United States nor accepted to stop spilling the blood of Afghan combatants and non-combatants.
Overall, there is no legitimacy for the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. Killing the people of Afghanistan is against religious tenets as Afghan clerics issued fatwa (religious decree) against the Taliban’s acts of violence and bloodshed several times and urged the Taliban to end the conflict. A number of Islamic clerics from around the world also issued fatwa against war in Afghanistan and condemned the Taliban’s violence.
According to Ghani, the Taliban’s miscalculation is the main obstacle to peace. “The Taliban still believe their own narrative that they have defeated NATO and the United States,” Ghani stated, adding that the Taliban leaders did not encourage their rank and file to accept the idea of peace. It is believed that there is still a widening gap between the Taliban leaders and their military commanders over the issue of peace. Their leaders fear that their rank and file may not accept their orders. If the Taliban leaders really lack control over their military commanders and fighters, the fear of splintering looms large, which will undo the US-Taliban Doha peace agreement.
If the Taliban have clear and transparent demands and plan, they have to put them all at the negotiating table and discuss them logically with the Afghan republic team to find out a solution. Going on a killing spree and targeting the people will compound the problems.
It is self-evident that since the people have paid heavy sacrifices for protecting their rights and liberties, promoting democratic principles through casting their votes in presidential and parliamentary elections, and engaged in peace building in one way or another, they will support the current republic government. In other words, the Taliban seek to magnify the challenges and corruption within the government system so that they could create a rift between the government and the people, but their efforts will be proved abortive. The people will support the government.  Creating a gap between state and nation is unlikely to succeed.
The Taliban harmed each and every individual in the country in some ways, they should not expect any supports. Afghan men and women back the government so as to have their rights and freedoms maintained and their decades-long achievements safeguarded. The blood of soldiers, who make heavy sacrifices for protection of the country and people, is highly valuable for the nation. There is no logic to support an interminable and illegitimate conflict, which has inflicted heavy casualties on people and led to large-scale destruction. With this in mind, the Taliban have to understand that military deal will never win and warring sides have to find a negotiated settlement. If the Taliban persist in their violence and bloodshed, there is a strong possibility that the ordinary people will take guns to fight against them so as to defend the republic administration. Hence, the Taliban had better cease violence and respect the public life.