Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

Why People Are Worried About the Peace Deal with Taliban

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Why People Are Worried About  the Peace Deal with Taliban

After the ninth round of peace talks between US-Taliban has ended, the US Special Representative for Peace, Zalmay Khalilzad, came to Kabul to brief the Afghan president and political leaders on details of the Doha peace talks. Based on official reports, he discussed the main framework of the draft agreement with President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. “The draft framework agreement was shown to President Ghani but farther discussions will continue with him, twitted by Waheed Omer, a president senior advisor.” He also showed up in Afghan Medias and responded to some of the questions asked by journalists and other Afghan people.
In general, it seems that Washington is decisive to peace deal with Taliban due to several reasons such as losing the lives of more than 2,300 American, imposing nearly one trillion dollars and also making a credit for Trump election campaign.  Based on the draft agreement, it is said that the US will withdraw 5,000 troops from five bases in Afghanistan within 135 days if conditions in the agreement are truly implemented by the Taliban. “Yes, we have reached an agreement in principle,” Mr. Khalilzad said during an interview with Lotfullah Najafizada, a TOLOnews journalist. “Of course, it is not final until the US president [Donald Trump] agrees on it. So, at the moment, we are at that stage.” The US envoy said that as part of the agreement, at the first stage, the provinces of Kabul and Parwan – where the Bagram Airfield is located – will see a reduction in violence.
However, the details of Khalilzad’s talks with government officials and political leaders have not been released to the media. Therefore, many of the people are seriously following the news with great concerns about the outcome of the agreement fearing from return to black Taliban-era. In fact, the increasing concern of people originates from two main issues: unclear process of peace talks and the bitter memory of people from Taliban era. Many people think that the Taliban is not a credible group to count on its sayings and commitments. In the previous round, the Taliban had called themselves as “White Pigeons of Peace” but later when dominate on cities and country used various types of atrocity which not was imaginable to any human.
Taliban has left such a bitter memory that will never be forgotten in the history. People remember the cruel deeds of Taliban when they dominated in Kabul and other large cities in nineties. As pointed out, Taliban introduced themselves as white pigeons of peace but soon after changed to such warlords that no value or criteria was important for them. The burnt land policy, forced mass migration and systematic ethnic and religious massacres are some parts of the group’s crimes which, somewhat, continues yet. In addition, the Taliban are not an independent group to do whatever they want, but they are inspired by the policies of the countries in the region and follow their goals and desires. According to most Afghan people, no changes have occurred in mentality and behavior of the Taliban while some of its branches have become more extremists.
However, Mr. Khalilzad said the return of Islamic emirate is not acceptable by force and this point has been included in the draft agreement. While the possible return of an Islamic emirate as part of a peace deal between the US and the Taliban has been a much-debated topic which increased a lot of concerns about the loss of achievements the country has made in the last eighteen years. Many people ask why we have fought and undertook heavy human and non-human expenses within eighteen years if the outcomes of peace deal undermine the past achievements.
Anyway, the key point is that after eighteen years the US and the Taliban have come to realize that they cannot win each other through war or with less expense. Therefore, they have defined the solution to ending the US-Taliban war but according to many Afghan analysts it is not going to end the war in Afghanistan. The US war with the Taliban is one issue, but the Afghan government’s war with the Taliban is another matter which differs in nature and in its consequences.
It is in the Taliban’s interest to end the war with the United States. If the war ends with the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, it is a great privilege for the Taliban and they will never miss this opportunity, but when it comes to the Afghan people, the Taliban’s views will be different. The Taliban and their supporters will never want an end to war in Afghanistan. The Taliban believe that with the departure of foreign forces, the government and security forces will not be able to confront the group. The Taliban, on the other hand, understand that the political disintegration and personal interests of some political leaders make it impossible to form a large national consensus in the wake of the war with the Taliban.
For these two reasons, the Taliban consider Afghanistan’s political system vulnerable and fragile and believe that the current system will shortly collapse with military and political pressure if it does not have strong support from foreign countries. The fall of the Taliban regime means the rule of the emirate.  As a result, this scenario has heightened the Taliban’s enthusiasm for signing an agreement with the United States. On the other hand, it raised concerns among Afghan people as the agreement may sacrifice the national achievements and prepare the ground for a despotic government.

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

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