Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, March 29th, 2020

Reconciliation and Transition


Reconciliation and Transition

The security situation in Afghanistan is not getting any better as the terrorists have further intensified their assaults. Only, the ongoing month of Ramadan can be a hope for a break in sanguinary incidents, but that can not be a substitute for a lasting peace. The concerned authorities should carry out necessary measures to curb the situation and try to have the control in their hands. Definitely, the tactics adopted by the terrorists at the moment are meant to influence the society psychologically and to prove that they still exist and must be given larger share in the government hierarchy after the withdrawal of international troops.

They do not seem in a position to be having the capacity to occupy a considerable piece of territory and have their own control mechanism over there. Rather, they have road side bombing, suicide attacks and target killings as the major ingredient in their tactics, and they have been able to achieve what they have strived for. The social psychology has been victimized by the wave of terror. Even this wave of terror has been able to make the people in the other countries think about the outcome of the transition period and the situation of the country after the withdrawal of international forces.

Actually the transition period is getting more and more complex with each passing day. U.S. leadership seemed very much confident while announcing the drawdown and recently they have been very much hopeful about a deal with Taliban for political reconciliation that can result into some sort of peace and tranquility. The Afghan government on the other hand has also been very much optimistic about the transition period. It has been having the misunderstanding that showing soft corner for Taliban can make them come to negotiation table.

Further, it has also been very much reliant on Peace High Council, which had been organized for the noble cause of bringing the Taliban to some sort of reconciliation. But all these efforts have proved to be futile so far and it seems as if they have further infuriated Taliban. The purpose of highlighting the failure of the government and international forces regarding the reconciliation process with Taliban is not to suggest that there can not be peaceful negotiations with Taliban and war is the ultimate solution of the issues in our country. In fact, the purpose is to magnify the drawbacks of the peace process that is being strived for.

Some of them are very much obvious and must be dealt with due consideration. The first and foremost drawback of the endeavors in this regard is the incapacity of Peace High Council and International community to understand the current network of terrorists in the region. If reconciliation process is being demanded, has it been identified that who the potential leaders of Taliban are? And, if there are leaders who are from different factions of Taliban, which seems very much likely; are they in complete concurrence with one another? If they are not in complete concurrence with one another, will the government have different sort of agreement with each of them? These are some of the questions which do not have clear answer so far. Government and International community have in fact left these questions un-attended and are running after reconciliation process.

In fact, it appears that they know all these questions and their importance but for the time being they are just propagating that some peace process is going on between Taliban and the Afghan government; if it can not solve the problem, it can really give the international community better reasons for withdrawing their forces. Another major concern regarding this reconciliation process is that whether the Afghan participation in the process justly represents the people of Afghanistan. Does it include all the ethnic groups and the other important divisions? Both the Peace High Council and the approaching Bon Conference, wherein the peace talks with Taliban are expected, have to make this consideration sure.

Recently, the talks of strategic agreement between Afghanistan and U.S. are going on. Both the Afghan and U.S. governments need to have some sort of specifications in their responsibilities ahead of them. Any strategic agreement will do just that. Nevertheless, there are concerns about the agreement as well. The neighboring countries, fearing that U.S. would be having agreement on the basis of permanent U.S. bases in Afghanistan, do not seem much in the favor of the agreement.

They would definitely play their part in pressurizing the Afghan government against that. Though, U.S. ambassador in Kabul has said that U.S. is not going to have any sort of intention in Afghanistan that may harm the national interests of the neighboring countries, neither U.S. is planning to have permanent bases in Afghanistan, the fear of the neighboring countries can only be eliminated if the outlines of the contents (the ones that can bother the neighboring countries) of the strategic agreement are made widely known. Afghan government has announced that any sort of agreement between Afghanistan and U.S. can take place on the conditions of the Afghan government, and there would not be any compromises made in that regard. The important thing is not whose conditions will stand; rather the crucial thing is that the conditions, which can prove better for the country as a whole, should prevail.

Currently, the reconciliation process and the transition both seem to be out of the control of Afghan government to a certain extent. The way these two processes are managed seems to be lacking the essentials. The proper management of these two vital processes require proper analysis of the objective conditions, finding out and accepting the drawbacks and working to improve them and ultimately honest efforts which are directed towards the welfare and prosperity of all the Afghan people not just the ruling elite as it has been the ordinary Afghan people who have been undergoing the severest consequences of every sort of trouble, whether it be the terrorist plots in the form of roadside bombing or suicide attacks or the political and economic crisis that result into deprivation, poverty and sufferings.

Dilawar Sherzai is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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