Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Mohib Expounds 3-Pronged Peace Strategy

Mohib Expounds 3-Pronged Peace  Strategy

KABUL - National Security Advisor (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib says Kabul is pursuing a three-pronged approach to bring lasting peace to Afghanistan.
Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in the US on Tuesday, the NSA said the first part of the approach would be the negotiating strategy and the post-peace engagement.
The focus of discussions in the last nine months was the US-plus-NATO engagement in Afghanistan, he said, adding part one of that strategy for peace negotiation would be the US stay and what the Afghans did to counter terrorism if American troops were to withdraw from Afghanistan
In line with the second point, he said, the government in Kabul would reach out to the Taliban for talks -- those who are Afghans interested in integrating into Afghan society and coming back to political life.
Point three of the peace strategy concerns assurances the Afghan society would need from Pakistan in terms of non-interference and respecting whatever agreement might be signed between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
“And then we will also need to take into account and build consensus in our neighborhood and with the Islamic countries on what peace means,” Mohib explained.
In line with part two of the approach, Kabul would explore ways of strengthening state institutions, the advisor continued.
During the last nine months of discussions between the US and Taliban in Doha, he pointed out, the Afghans realised the importance of having a constitution.
Before this, he said, the constitution was regarded just a piece of paper. “Nobody really gave it a serious thought. It existed; we took it for granted.”
Mohib also spoke about the Sept. 28 presidential vote, which was threatened by the Taliban. They fighters vowed to take down anybody participating in the polls and attack polling centers.
But the Afghan forces were able to protect almost all polling centres across the country, the NSA claimed, saying civilians were not harmed -- a big achievement.
Kabul remained willing to accommodate the Taliban into governance to end violence against the people, he argued.
He supported President Trump’s decision on calling off talks the Taliban, saying the insurgents were not ready to make peace with anybody.
“They are ready to take Afghanistan over and bring back their regime. They had been preparing their victory speeches. There were videos circulating in Afghanistan … of Taliban sending each other instructions.”
The Taliban commander sent his followers instructions on what to do in the instance of victory, on not to harm civilians and to pardon Afghan officials, Mohib mainrained.
Any peace negotiations, he stressed, should be between the Afghan government and the Taliban. There had been 150,000 casualties among the Afghan security forces in the last two decades, he said.
He branded the Taliban as a proxy of Pakistan and its intelligence agency. Afghanistan would never accept being ruled by Pakistanis, the advisor said.
In response to a query, the NSA said the Afghan forces could defeat the Taliban militarily. “It will just take longer. If they choose to have peace we would save some time.” (Pajhwok)