Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, November 28th, 2020

What are Fundamental of Challenges of Lasting Peace in Afghanistan?

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What are Fundamental of Challenges of Lasting Peace in Afghanistan?

This is about ten years that formal  peace efforts began with the Taliban, no outcome produced yet. It was 2010 that the former Afghan President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, established the High Peace Council (HPC) to facilitate direct talks with moderate Taliban elements and then allowed them to open its office in Qatar in 2013. As the Taliban office was opened in Qatar with a white flag named the embassy of the Islamic Emirate,  the government withdrew from the process and demanded its closure as a reaction. In July 2013, Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Taliban leader, supported peace talks with the Afghan government, calling the talks a legal way to end the foreign invasion of Afghanistan, but not long after his decision, his death was confirmed by the Afghanistan’s national security officials.
After the death of Taliban’s leader, they announced Mullah Mansour as his successor and rejected peace talks. Since 2015, the NUG has continued the previous efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, as well as to build a global, regional and national consensus on the peace process in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, the efforts did not produce any significant results. The Taliban intensified their violence and destructive attacks on city centers, highways, military bases, government offices, and so on.
Given the long fruitless efforts and intensification of massive attacks in the country, it seems that all Taliban members do not have intention for peace and power sharing solution in the country.  If they had a will for power sharing solution, there were no barriers against them in the country. If they had a will for power sharing solution with Islamic republic of Afghanistan, they would not have launched major attacks to seize strategic provinces of the country.  In 2015, the Taliban seized the strategic northern province of Kunduz and then again they attacked on  the center of the same province in 2016. In May 2018, the western province of Farah was about to fall, and in August 2018, they organized systematic attacks on the strategic province of Ghazni. These events show that the Taliban had the least interest in peace talks during the national unity government. The group rejected the ceasefire with the Afghan government and instead insisted on direct talks with the United States. Although they justified their war as Islamic Jehad and defensive war against foreign occupation, their recent position divulged  that none of the pretences were the actual motive of the war.
Logically, there must be some changes or barriers  which failed the peace process; so, what are those challenges ? why the peace became so prolonged while still there is no clear outlook for the future of peace process in the country?  In resonance to this, many analysts think Taliban are not an independent group that can negotiate with the Afghan government and decide about the peace. It is mainly believed among Afghans that Taliban is a strategic tool which is used by regional countries to reach their strategic depth the country. these analysts believe that the supporters of Taliban want to establish here an Islamic extremist obedient government not allowing their regional rivals to have deep relationship with Afghan government. If we look at the past years, several moderate Taliban who believed in peace they were secretly killed or imprisoned. Unfortunately, the rest do not ask why?  Therefore, the negation has not produced any results in the past and it is not likely to produce any results in the future. So, it  seems fruitless to continue negotiation with a dependent group who  has no authority to decide about peace in the country. 
The next related question is why other nations are not attacked or interfered like Afghanistan? Why regional or foreign countries are always seeking their strategic interests in Afghanistan, not other countries? In response to this question, most analysts believe because we are weak and disunited? In fact, no nation has ever become strong and stable without blessing of unity, equality and social justice. It is highly important that new generation of Afghanistan deeply believe that social justice and meritocracy are an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations.
We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote rights of minority groups, gender equality, children and other vulnerable people. Genuinely, we cannot become one unless we remove all barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability. Also, the government should advance social justice to remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, disability and replacing traditional with legal justice system. The noteworthy is that only legal justice saves a person from arbitrariness of course and ensures provision of justice to anyone, anywhere.
The Afghan leaders must realize that unity is beyond slogans or paternal advices!  It is not achieved unless we truly believe in it and know that there is a common law that one should love his neighbor as himself. Promotion of this feeling is crucial to lead the nation or the world towards its progress, prosperity and strong against national enemies. It is the only way that can increase trust, sympathy and collaboration against vices like corruption, discrimination and violence. It gives people sense of security so as to know each other better and understand each other’s sensitivity. It can unite and promotes co-operation and opens opportunity to excellence. We should think that the progress of the country is our own progress, the pain of other ethnic group is our own pain and if somebody is victimized by act of terror tomorrow will be our turn, and not keep silent. Finally, we must learn that it was the power of unity that changed the destiny many super powers in the history. As long as we are weak and divided everyone is courageous against us while we have no options other than begging peace.

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

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