Search

Kabul’s concerns

In a recent informal interaction with journalists, Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed that talks with the Afghan Taliban, scheduled to be held last month, were cancelled after Kabul raised objections. He further added that the Afghan government was a major hurdle for the peace process to smoothly proceed since it wished to negotiate with the Taliban directly.
In light of this, it is best to deduce that the peace process should be Afghan-led regardless of the dialogue being initiated by external stakeholders such as Washington DC and Moscow. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s administration may have been held back for political reasons by the key powers, but the reality is that his government is democratically elected, which should have a seat on the table.
Ignoring its concerns or say would eventually backfire since presidential elections have been postponed by a few months. Regional and global powers should devise a strategy based on neutral approach, no matter how much they dislike the Kabul-based regime.
Indeed, there are hawkish elements within Afghanistan who may try to subvert the process, namely Amrullah Saleh. But, there’s a dire need to keep people like him onboard for smooth sailing.
Afghanistan cannot afford to be used as a playground for political chess games any longer. It has suffered consistently ever since the Saur Revolution took place in 1978, which eventually led to the Soviet-Afghan War.
Whereas, the aftermath of the 1988 Geneva Accords was nothing short of an absolute disaster. Now, in 2019, an alternative and far-sighted approach is mandatory to learn from historical mistakes. If there’s to be a power sharing formula, everyone should be equally onboard, and compromises made for the benefit of the Afghan people who lag behind in education, health and employment opportunities.
As for PM Khan’s revelations, the outcome was for best, perhaps, since any talks with the Taliban in Islamabad may have sent a wrong signal to Kabul. Such matters should always be discussed on inter-state level.
But then again, President Ghani needs to contain the hawks too who are clearly using the peace process as a political tool out of fear of being ousted if a national government is formed in the future.



--!>

PM directs fast-track completion of Special Economic Zones

--!>