January 17, 2021

Peace talks inside Afghanistan…?

Peace talks inside Afghanistan…?

By: Muhammad Jalal

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan opened its political office in the Gulf state of Qatar in June 2013 to start its struggle on the political stage for ending the conflict in Afghanistan which was praised by everyone including the main opposing side, America. It is was another achievement by the Islamic Emirate at a time of international sanctions and opposition from anti peace elements. The political office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has its main goal which is to support a peaceful solution in which Afghanistan’s occupation comes to an end and lasting peace and stability is established thoughout Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate has shown to the entire world that it wants relations with everyone based on mutual respect and understanding and the Political office has functioned as such by reaching out and meeting with the international community, international organizations and other non-governmental bodies inside and outside Afghanistan.

Although the Afghan peace talks between the Islamic Emirate and the United States were long and tiring, they were not disappointing and a historical agreement was signed between both sides on 29th of February 2020. But even as the agreement was signed, it non the less took time and eleven rounds of talks as there has been a long war between the Islamic Emirate and foreign interventionist forces for almost 19 years in which hundreds of thousands of Afghans lost their lives, were imprisoned and displaced from their homes. Even as the agreement between between both parties has yet to be fully implemented, still the Islamic Emirate started intra Afghan talks which shows the willingness and determination of the Islamic Emirate for ending the suffering of Afghan people.

Since the opening ceremony and first meeting between the Islamic Emirate and other parties to the Afghan conflict, the Kabul administration has left no stone unturned to sabotage and delay the peace talks to prolong its unlawful rule and then blame the Islamic Emirate for delays. Now as the procedural rules for the intra Afghan talks have been agreed upon and formally announced, the anti peace elements have become more worried as they see signs of their demise if peace process moves forward. The head of Kabul administration and his team have asked for this ridiculous demand of holding the peace talks inside of Afghanistan. This demand is nothing but a delay tactic to run from the negotiating table as they cannot provide justification for their illegitimate rule. The head of Kabul administration who can’t even go to and from his Presidential Palace without bullet proof motorcade is calling is challenging the Islamic Emirate to hold talks inside of Afghanistan, a demand that goes against all the norms and rules of conflict resolution.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has never opposed talks inside Afghanistan and has control over majority of the land, but since it does not recognize the Kabul administration as a government, it views such demands as ridiculous as their administration. As the country is still under occupation and the war is raging, therefore a neutral venue is the most suitable option for conflict resolution as per the international norms and procedures.

Peace negotiations require basic security needs to allow the negotiators to focus their minds, hearts and energy on reaching a resolution. The Kabul administration has been systematically assassinating anyone who has raised a voice for peace with clerics, journalists and peace activist mysteriously murdered since the start of peace talks. The recent unpractical proposal of holding talks in Afghanistan is yet another excuse for delaying the process by Kabul regime and is an attempt at derailing this opportunity so they can stay in power for a bit longer.

Peace talks need to be continued and any unnecessary opposition and unwarranted criticism must be avoided. Once the agreement between the Islamic Emirate and the United States is fully implemented and foreign troops withdraw completely from Afghanistan, it is possible that the rest of the talks can take place in Afghanistan.

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