Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

The Unsettling Reconciliation


The Unsettling Reconciliation

Recently, the future of Afghanistan has been the burning issue in different discussions. Both the security situation and peace process are ambiguous and there is a margin of a great deal of efforts to make the situation clearer. The US and other foreign troops have to be withdrawn till the end of the year 2014, while there are concerns regarding the capacity of Afghan forces to substitute the responsibility of security against the strengthening fronts of the terrorists.

The commitment of the foreign allies in withdrawing their forces seems more serious than some of the people imagined. Influenced by the economic crisis, the developed nations of the world including US are compelled to review their debt and other sorts of economic aids to the troubled countries. This clearly means decrease in the amount of the favors that Afghanistan is going to receive in the coming years. Definitely, it is not possible for the foreign countries to keep on assisting Afghanistan indefinitely, but the decreasing favor at this crucial time when the country is going through a transition period can really have serious consequences.

The notion that has been supported vehemently by the foreign allies and Afghan government itself is the political solution of the issue. Yes, political solution is the only way out of the trouble as militancy and wars can never lead to prosperity and they can never be adopted as permanent solution. But both the government and international community do not seem much successful in creating a state of affairs that can lead serious minds consider the peaceful solution with Taliban as achievable.

Though there have been deliberate announcements and claims in this regard, Tangible outcomes are yet to be achieved. Taliban, on the other hand, do not seem much attracted by the peace invitations and have kept their ferocious assaults continue in different parts of the country. Presently, US President Barack Obama has reiterated his commitment of working out a political panacea to the issue of terrorism in Afghanistan.

He has mentioned in his first video conference with new US team in Afghanistan on Thursday, August 11, 2011,( in particular with US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker and NATO Commander General John Allen) that ultimately there would be a political solution to the conflict and that Afghan forces will have to shoulder the responsibility of security in their country.

But definitely there would be US troops to support them and US assistance would also be available for the political reconciliation with Taliban. The White House has said, "The newly arrived team of US leaders in Kabul underscore the continuing momentum of the coalition campaign, the development of Afghan security forces and support to the Afghan government as they transition to the lead in security,"

The US President has also mentioned that he stands as the supporter of the regional engagement agenda of Hilary Clinton and would be looking forward to an important and productive Bonn Conference in December this year to seek out political reconciliation with Taliban. But the regional engagement agenda does not seem to be working well as the gap among the US and regional countries, especially Pakistan and Iran, is widening and the distrust is accruing, as well.

On the other hand, there are many expectations from the 2nd Bonn Conference in connection with the reconciliation process with Taliban. Foreign allies are sanguine that there would be representative of Taliban in the conference and the conference would definitely acquire some remarkable achievement for the future of Afghanistan. The Afghan government also seems very much hopeful about the Bonn Conference and reconciliation process.

They also seem very much satisfied of the performance of the High Peace Council and expect it to take Afghanistan towards a better Bonn Conference. It is possible to certain extent that the conference may generate some pleasing outcomes but at the moment the preparations for the conference do not let many to have high hopes regarding the turn out of the conference, and clearly depict the indefiniteness of the endeavors.

The true representatives of multi-factional Taliban and the attitude of the different factions regarding the reconciliation process either with the government or the foreign allies are the issues that have to solved yet, while the conference is not very far away as three months or so can never be considered an ample time for political issues of such magnitude.

The hopes of the government and the foreign allies regarding the peace process with Taliban resembles the theory in psychology that says, "It is not it (any object) that we desire for; it is, rather, the fantasy of it." So, now there has been much fantasy being created about the Bonn Conference and every one desires for the same fantasy (hoping that the conference would bear fruits). Therefore, it seems so attracting at the moment, but once it is over all the fantasies are going to die with it, and there will prevail nothing except acrid truth.

It is once again insisted that there are possibilities that this Conference should cast some influence over the political situation in Afghanistan but not in the way its preparations are being processed. The Taliban representatives are yet to be found, and there are concerns regarding the representatives of the people of Afghanistan in the conference.

There are concerns of the neighboring countries about the future political developments in the country. How will the conference deal with these sorts of varying and even opposite concerns? What will be the future of the strategic deal between US and Afghanistan and how would the region react to such a deal? There are so many questions to be answered and the arrangements seem so meager to find out their satisfactory answers.

This article is not to suggest that the any peace process is not attainable in the country, but to suggest that it can never be tackled so easily. The issues in Afghanistan have to be taken as per their merit and the complexities involved in them must be analyzed with thorough analysis. There have been many sacrifices to attain somewhat peaceful state of affairs and there are great opportunities of attaining lasting peace in the country and in the region. It can not be wasted by being in a hurry and finding out temporary solutions that can only pass the buck.

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

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