Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, April 22nd, 2019

Collective Efforts for Peace Process of Afghanistan


Collective Efforts for Peace Process of Afghanistan

Speaking at the 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Tajikistan on Friday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Abdullah Abdullah called for collective efforts of regional countries in the fight against terrorism. Abdullah said that terrorism remains the biggest “collective” challenge in the region and as a frontline state Afghanistan bears the bulk of the burden in the fight against terrorism and extremism,” he said.  He added Afghanistan is working with all involved nations including Pakistan, to eliminate the infrastructure and breeding grounds that help fund, recruit, train and deploy the human power and logistics to destabilize Afghanistan and the region as a whole. “The number of losses and casualties in Afghanistan speak for themselves,” he said. “The presence of safe havens and co-networks supported through drug trafficking were essential and played the role of backbone for terrorist organizations.
“We continue to appeal our regional friends by stressing that fighting terrorism, extremism and separatism will require our collective efforts that needs close cooperation and coordination. But first, we need to make sure that we treat all forms of terrorism as one. We cannot make the mistake of differentiating between good and bad terrorism,” he said. He said among the international terrorist groups that since 2014 found hideouts in Afghanistan, is the Islamic State or Daesh which the Afghan government sees it as a serious threat. “We use all means to identify and eliminate their foothold inside our country. Most of their recruits are non-Afghans, they are opportunistic in their dealings and affiliations with other militant groups including certain Taliban groupings,” Abdullah said.
The CEO, Abdullah also welcomed the multinational regional meeting on counter-terrorism at the level of national security officials that was held in Tehran last month. He also appreciated the countries’ contributions being made through the Hearth of Asia – Istanbul, and Kabul Processes conferences. “The National Unity Government in Afghanistan continues to promote an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation agenda,” he said. “Earlier, this year, we presented a comprehensive plan for reconciliation and reintegration that was supported by the international community. Meanwhile, we will defend our citizens, their rights and achievements when attacked.”
Abdullah said that the Afghan government has made every effort to provide an enabling environment for expanding the borders of trade, transit, communications, investment in energy transmission to fight poverty and unemployment by bringing the different segments of the region close to each other. he reiterated that Afghanistan is strongly committed to working closely with ECO to enhance cooperation in key areas of interest in order to pave the ground for a peaceful, stable and prosperous region.
In addition, he talked on the Afghan peace process, saying that Kabul will continue its efforts to move the process forward. “The government of national unity in Afghanistan continues to promote and Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation agenda. Earlier this year, we presented a comprehensive plan for reconciliation and reintegration that was supported by the international community.
Meanwhile, Toby Lanzer, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said there are hopes for achieving peace in the country and that the organization will use all its resources for making a better future for Afghanistan. “Everybody that I have listened to whether it is a boy or a girl or a man or a woman, they have always said to me we want peace, we want to get through this terrible period in our history. We want Afghanistan to be a safe and secure place,” Lanzer said. The UN official said the international community’s cooperation will further help the efforts of the Afghan government for peace.
Thus, the U.S. envoy for Afghanistan peace efforts also reached to Qatar and met with Taliban representatives as president Donald Trump’s administration pushed to find a way to end the 17-year-old Afghan war. Khalilzad, who is heading the envoy, trying bring Taliban to the negotiating table, is currently on his first trip as the special representative. However, it is the second time in four months that American officials have held face-to-face talks with Taliban representatives. In July, Alice Wells, the State Department deputy secretary for South and Central Asia, had met Taliban officials in Doha for what were described as talks about talks.  The Taliban official who was part of the four-person delegation to that meeting said it produced “very positive signals.” However, they stress on withdrawal of US forces from the country and the establishment of a government in Kabul that reflects the group’s view of Islam.
Khalilzad also met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. The two sides discussed ways of achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan and Qatar’s role in the peace process in the country. During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations between the two friendly countries as well as efforts exerted in Afghanistan. According to media reports, the meeting was attended by a number of officials including Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. Though no more details have been revealed about the outcome of the two side meetings yet.
It is said that Khalilzad, finally, plans to return to Kabul for further consultations with Afghan leaders in the near future. However, before visiting Qatar, he started his peace mission by visiting Afghanistan and Pakistan to convince Islamabad to work with Afghan government in its efforts for reconciliation with the Taliban group.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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