Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Will Afghanistan Achieve Sustainable Peace?

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Will Afghanistan Achieve Sustainable Peace?

Political conflicts in any country can only be solved through political dialogue. However, to put an end in long conflicts like the one in Afghanistan, some of the egregious sources of hostility must be successfully resolved. Political talks and agreements rarely hold if they are not strongly backed by different groups involved. Many past peace deals have foundered because deep-seated suspicion and hostility remained, dividing people along ethnic, language and religious lines.
Taking Afghan Government on Board
Afghan government has not been part of the five rounds of the US and Taliban peace talks. This has created some questions at the national and international levels; though, the US has repeatedly said that the peace talks are held at international and national levels and Afghan government, Afghan politicians and Civil Society Organizations will be involved at the national level peace talks.
As intra-Afghan dialogue should be inclusive with representation from Afghan government, it is necessary for the US to take the Afghan government on board in the peace process. The US envoy for Afghan peace talks Zalmay Khalilzad has acknowledged that, there was consensus that intra-Afghan dialogue should be comprehensive and inclusive with representatives from the Afghan government, women, young people, and civil society. Therefore, the US also shall take all the necessary measures to find how the international community can best support Afghan government in a peace process lead the government and owned by Afghans.
Comprehensive and Inclusive Intra-Afghan Dialogue
Afghan government must ensure representatives from women, young people, and civil society in the talks. Conflict studies Show that the root of many conflicts across the world can be traced to exclusion. These findings suggest that by working to lessen the distance that can exist between the state and wider society a durable peace can be built, as a result, it is important to ensure that all individuals and groups – particularly those who are frequently marginalized, such as minority religious groups, youth and women – are brought in to the peace building process.
Experience shows Peace building is a complex process which cannot be monopolized by one single group – there must be inclusivity at all stages, from the top to the very bottom. If peace talks are monopolized, the peace that is constructed will not last, nor will it be just.
Afghan conflict resolution experience show that standing against the trend of exclusion in society requires a concerted effort to ensure inclusivity at all levels of the peace building process, with particular attention to marginalized groups, so that all opinions, interests and needs can be considered.
Based on this, Afghan government is trying to include all sides in the peace talks. As part of a series of initiatives, a conference ‘Components of a sustainable peace’ was organized on Tuesday and attended by 400 people including representatives of civil society and media outlets from 34 provinces of the country. Speaking in the conference, President Ashraf Ghani said, Afghan government emphasized on ceasefire and conditions made for a comprehensive peace dialogue.
A sustainable peace requires convincing all parties involved in the conflict in Afghanistan to come together and see if there is an agreement to overcome violence in the country. Afghan government must try to convince all the parties, including the Taliban to come together to see if Afghans can find a way to reduce the violence.
However, Afghan citizens also shall stress prevention of deals that could damage the freedom of speech, religion, human rights, civil rights, guarantees from countries engaged in the peace process and the role of inter-governmental organizations in the process.
Political dialogue is the only mechanism to put an end to political conflicts. Political dialogue is a long-term effort. Negotiations will not bear fruit overnight. And they are deemed as essential to the process of building sustainable peace. In the context of Afghan peace talks it is necessary the talks be comprehensive and inclusive to ensure a durable peace. Ultimately, we want a peace deal to respect the totality of the constitution, and respect the freedom of speech, religion, human rights, and civil rights in the country.

Moh. Sakhi Rezaie

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