Editor in Chief: Dr. Hussain Yasa Friday, February 24th, 2017

Reaching Peace Agreement

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Reaching Peace Agreement

Peace process in Afghanistan officially began in 2010 when government of president Karzai founded Peace High Council led by late Burhanudding Rababi. Almost six years passed since then and officials in the council say ‘about 20 thousand militants belonging to different groups of Taliban so far joined peace process.’ Peace council with a wide structure; comprising a chief, his many deputies and several advisors, many committees of the council, offices in provinces and other sections, has spent perhaps tens of millions of dollars but the council has been under criticism by ordinary people, politicians and civil society; because despite efforts by the council, Insurgency still continues in the country and people’s dream for peace has not been materialized.
Fighting in Afghanistan has been indeed complex and people do not know well about the roots and reasons. Even our political analysts have not reached a conclusion on factors that caused and continued the war. In the meantime Peace high council recently announced to have prepared a new strategy for peace process. Peace process and its program until now have not been so transparent; as it did not have tangible achievements too. ‘According to new peace strategy specific and clear mechanisms designed and wide changes will be brought in the organization of peace council.’ President’s office without giving details has said this. New strategy means that previous plans and programs have failed and may be the peace council did not have any strategy and plan. Peace council even accused of wasting time and resources and having no serious plan and authority to talk with militant.
Afghanistan, after the fall of Taliban regime in 2001, began a new era of its history and a democratic government came into being. For the first time over past three decades, Afghans elected and a democratic government. Thousands of public buildings and installations have been constructed. More than six million students are busy getting education and thousands of schools and universities have been built. Our constitution recognized equal rights for men and women, civil and political rights of people are reserved. According to the constitution government is committed to do social justice and practice democracy, it follows United Nations’ charter, the universal declaration of human rights and ensure right of freedom and respect human dignity. (Constitution; articles 6, 7, 24, 35) These and many other achievements and developments we have had during the past 15 years and that’s why people of Afghanistan support the government despite problems and inefficiencies. Most importantly, ‘national sovereignty’ in the constitution belongs to people and they practice it through their representatives as president, members of parliament and other councils. But Taliban and other militant groups so far opposed all these values, they do not accept the political system of the country and their model of government is Emirate or Khelafat.
What the people of Afghanistan expect from government is not to compromise on democracy, civil and political rights of people, human rights and women’s rights. People participating in several elections, endorsed democracy and showed their opposition to Taliban and other like minded groups. According to Taliban’s political theory democracy is non-Islamic and an ‘Emir’ should be at the helm of power; as they did in past during their rule (2001-1996) in the country.
Taliban opposes military and political agreements with other countries and their military presence in Afghanistan; it is while Afghanistan needs extremely military and financial help of international community; especially western countries. Our military strength and economic power totally depend on cooperation of our international allies. Taliban oppose all these and instead let members of terrorist groups make hideouts for themselves in the soil of Afghanistan. People of Afghanistan have been suffering because of groups like Taliban, Al Qaeda and Daesh. Afghan government can not fight these terrorists without military and financial help of its international allies.         
Previous, Afghan government led by president Karzai, released thousands of militants from prisons. It was may be to take peace process ahead and reach peace agreement but people now do not want it be repeated, they support peace efforts; but not on cost of their democracy, freedom and recent achievements. Afghans across the country supported government and military operations against terrorist militants. Military operations by Afghan forces in this year were successful; fighters suffered heavy casualties and could not capture any province as they had planned before.
Though conflicts and disputes are finally ended via negotiations; but military means always proved to be decisive and crucial to pave the way for talks. Armed opposition groups have chosen military ways to achieve their political goals; for Afghan government military means and a strong military encounter can be the best way to force insurgents for talks. Government of Afghanistan with a powerful military only can crash current militancy and insurgency in the country. In the past six year government has given enough time and concession to militant opposition to encourage them to start peace talks; but they misunderstood and misused it and instead increased their militancy and terrorist attacks. They rejected talks with government and stressed on their previous conditions. Taliban repeatedly announced to accept nothing but change of political system, complete withdrawal of foreign forces and enforcement of ‘Sharia’ their rigid and untrue interpretation of Islam.
Nonetheless talks with Taliban will give result at a time when government tighten and strengthen military operation against them, suppress them harshly and leave them no safe and secure place. In new strategy of peace council highest priority should be given to power and military pressure on insurgents; they know language of force better than reconciliatory and peaceful methods. Dialogue and diplomacy is finally the solution; but indeed a strong military pressure can bring the insurgents to negotiating table.

Asif Ghaznawi is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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