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Political Sacrifice for Peace in Afghanistan Part2

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Printed Date: 30-Jul-2021 at 8:50am
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Topic: Political Sacrifice for Peace in Afghanistan Part2
Posted By: AfghanistanNews
Subject: Political Sacrifice for Peace in Afghanistan Part2
Date Posted: 20-Feb-2019 at 10:12pm

Definitely Taliban leaders sitting down with US officials and separately with Afghan politicians is an important political development of the 17 years long Taliban insurgency. But US which is eager to negotiate with Taliban and pack their bags to leave for home have to understand that only talking to Taliban won't serve much purpose. For the Afghan peace process to succeed long term there has to be comprehensive one which includes participation of Afghans from all walks of life including Political parties, civil society, Afghan government and tribal chiefs. The major flaw in the current peace process is that it should have been preceded by the domestic consensus between various stakeholders.

Political Sacrifices for Peace in Afghanistan Part 2

Without an internal consensus it would be difficult to prevent a new civil war after foreign troops leave the country. Afghan society is a complex one including many ethnicities; major ones are Pashtun, Tajik, Hazaras and Uzbek and numerous minor groups like Ismailis, Qizilbash, Farsiwan, Aimaqs, Baluchis, Brahui and Nuristanis. Any foreign forced peace arrangement which was agreed between a foreign power and one group in a capital of an Arab state won't harmonise intra Afghan relations. Which is a must for reaching any long-lasting peace and stability. Also it will not work without foreign help like the one with Mujahedeen going to Saudi Arabia and swearing on the Quran after the Soviet Union withdrawal from Afghanistan. Understanding this fine line is very important and a calm and calculated approach is needed.

 The peace process should also aim to achieve peace with the armed actors in the country and long-term reconciliation between the countries' many diverse groups. Proposals for a negotiated political settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan should take into account interests of all sections of the Afghan population, include the active participation of all ethnic groups and the main religious minorities, and provide for their appropriate representation in any future power sharing arrangement, rather than sole focus on one armed group as we should remember that Afghanistan is a country of 31 million people and not only of few thousand fighters.

 Moreover, peace process in the war-ravaged country can't be rushed, it's a long process which requires patience and due diligence like- The British negotiated with the IRA for two decades before there was a peace deal in Northern Ireland. It should not be assumed by foreign powers that Afghans themselves are incapable of launching any successful reconciliation process. Afghanistan has a long tradition of using the forum of large gatherings historical, the intra tribal meetings (Jirga) to discuss important and current issues and to reach agreement and consensus. So, Afghans are capable enough to talk with their fellow countrymen as was demonstrated in 2016 when President Ghani successfully presented the peace agreement with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's party, the Hezb-e Islami. The peace deal resulted in Mr Hekmatyar's return from a 20 years long self-imposed exile and converted Hezb-e-Islami from an armed group to a political actor. But it should be understood that the situation with the Taliban is different and help from outside is crucial to have peace amongst Afghans so peace does not turn in to civil war again upon entering negotiation with the current government.

 Moreover, external actors bypassing elected bodies in the country and directly engaging with the Taliban helped in starting the peace process and also damaged Afghanistan's political institutions which needs to be strengthened. For this U.S and important regional players should ensure that any initiative of peace process should be initiated from the democratically elected government of Afghanistan. Hence the peace process must continue and it should be open and transparent one which encourages the involvement and ownership of all Afghan stakeholders.

This is the only way that the overwhelming public support for a negotiated settlement can be capitalized on. The international community has an extremely important role to play in this respect. Not only is it imperative for donor countries to voice their continued financial support for both the country's development and military assistance to the Afghan armed forces, but all countries with an interest in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan need to demonstrate their unwavering, yet critical, support for a negotiated peace process.

If the Taliban are sincere in their love for their country they must understand the consequence of US and UN troops leaving Afghanistan.  Captain Tarlan Eyvazov, a soldier in the Soviet forces during the war, stated that the Afghan children's future is destined for war. Eyvazov said, "Children born in Afghanistan at the start of the war... have been brought up in war conditions, this is their way of life." Eyvazov's theory was later strengthened when the Taliban movement developed and formed from orphans or refugee children who were forced by the Soviets to flee their homes and relocate their lives in Pakistan. The swift rise to power, from the young Taliban in 1996, was the result of the disorder and civil war that had warlords running wild because of the complete breakdown of law and order in Afghanistan after the departure of the Soviets.

What happened after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989?

Various factions of Mujahedeen -- or holy warriors -- whom were allowed to be managed by Pakistan took control but then quickly began to fight among themselves for power. If the peace process is not handled properly the children of Afghanistan will face the same consequences. If the world before and after Soviet Withdrawal that supported the Mujahedeen had helped create a government in Afghanistan instead of watching them fight, the civil war would not have happened and the consequences would have not been felt in 9/11.  

We do not want history to repeat itself and patience and understanding is required from all sides because without it the lives of Afghans are in stake on both sides. The faster we can iron our differences the more innocent Afghan lives we can save.

Today as I was putting together  this article from different sources a Jirga was announced by the government of Afghanistan to start on March 17th which has been talked about for months' to discuss peace, hopefully the participants will adhere to good common sense. It would be a perfect game of chess if all sides agree on a draw.

Today as I was putting together this article from different sources most articles intentions were a check mate from one side or another but my intention was to clarify the situation for all. A Jirga was announced by the government of Afghanistan to start on March 17th which has been talked about for months to discuss peace.  Hopefully the participants will adhere to good common sense for the benefit of the country. It would be a perfect game of chess if all sides agree on a draw. 

Political Sacrifices for Peace in Afghanistan Part 2
Mateen Karzai

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