Peace in Afghanistan
Posted on 6 months ago
Taliban are now being billed as a potential political and electoral force for the 2014 Afghan polls by Kabul and Washington and this position was taken by Islamabad in not so distant a past only to be spurned by both Afghanistan and the US. The AHPC now admits that Kabul can depend on Pakistan's commitment, as held out by top Pakistani leaders that Islamabad would go to the last extent of restoring a sustainable peace by extending all out cooperation and coordination to realize the goal.
Such notions also came from the former Taliban Minister, Maulvi Arsala Rahmani, now a member of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, who has said that Taliban have now decided to soften up their stance for a peace in Afghanistan. Today, they are ready to make comprises on some of the aspects which one could never thought of earlier. Rahmani also pointed out to a new role of Taliban with a categorical assurance that "Taliban are not back to govern the same way as the old Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. When they are back, they will be back as (other) Afghans." With the opening of a Taliban office in Qatar, one could see this change in the attitude of the Taliban leadership. On its part, United States is also negotiating with Taliban considering them as a legal entity. The US official stance a few months earlier was that they would never talk with Al-Qaeda and Taliban. Then there came a change of stance and its officials said that, US is willing to talk to "good" Taliban. However, now that US officials have met with the people of Mullah Omar whom they were accounting for as "bad" Taliban, there is a visible flexibility on the US side, which is no longer insisting either that the Taliban accept the existing constitution as a pre-condition or disarm them, before the talks.
Now that all actors of the Afghanistan peace process have softened their hitherto inflexible conduct, there is a strong message from all sides that they wanted business. The scenario also sends a signal that Kabul and Washington have now accepted Islamabad's view that peace without Taliban, who hail from Pashtuns who form about half of the landlocked country's population, will be a mere delusion. It is also a stark reality that there can no peace in Afghanistan without Pakistan's active participation.
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