Afghan peace deal is vital
The failure of peace talks in Afghanistan last month proved a big setback for restoring stability and tranquility in the south Asian region. The fallout of the failed peace talks have been visible on ground as the situation in the region has gone from bad to worse with an imminent spillover expected in other politically fragile regions.
Though the US President Donald Trump has announced that the Afghan peace talks are dead but a new hope has emerged after the representatives of Russia, China, the United States and Pakistan last week agreed that negotiation is the only road to peace in Afghanistan, including an early resumption of direct US talks with the Taliban.
The day-long talks held in in Moscow came ahead of an intra-Afghan dialogue to be hosted by China. The Beijing talks, as these have come to be known as have been postponed as of now but are likely to be held within a short span of time.
When the China talks take place, they will be the first face-to-face discussions between Afghan warring sides since July. What is noteworthy is that the Beijing talks will see participation of most of the leaders from all sides. Even President Ashraf Ghani, who has objected to any talks not led by his government, said that he would send representatives.
The Afghan peace talks need to be turned into a reality and the US needs to understand this. Taliban are the strongest since being ousted in 2001 by a US-led coalition. They still hold sway in nearly 50 per cent of the country.
This was the reason that the erstwhile President Hamid Karzai, a strong votary of establishing peace in the region had opened secret peace talks with the Taliban as he knew their strengths and weaknesses.
Though as of now it is not clear what it would take for Trump to agree to restart talks, but the US president has insisted he wants American troops out of Afghanistan and an end to American involvement in what has become their longest military engagement.
Trump has vowed at recent rallies to make good on his 2016 campaign promise to end American involvement in what he has described as endless wars, including Afghanistan, generating fears among some observers of a surprise tweet suddenly ordering troops home.
The Afghan peace talks need to be a success as the region has seen endless violence since the past four decades now. Even during this year’s violent attacks have caused more than 8,000 civilian casualties so far. The casualties have been caused by all sides in the conflict, including the United States and its stepped-up air attacks.
Afghanistan deserves peace and all countries including the US need to put in efforts to secure a peaceful environment for the war ridden people of the region so that their sufferings see some cutback.