Afghan peace process

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The special envoy of USA for Afghanistan Mr Zalmay Khalilzad has arrived in Pakistan to discuss the peace process with Pakistani official seeking their help to end the conflict in Afghanistan by bringing Afghan Taliban on negotiating table.

Before the arrival of Zalmay Khalilzad to Pakistan, the US President Mr Donald Trump had written a letter to Mr Imran Khan the PM of Pakistan to facilitate the peace process with Afghan Taliban.

Earlier the President Trump had criticized Pakistan for not doing enough for ending the 17 years old conflict causing huge losses in terms of human lives on both sides, but now the president wants Pakistan to help and force Afghan Taliban for the negotiated settlement.

Pakistan has responded positively to the request of the US president and will explore all possibilities which would be helpful to bring peace in war torn Afghanistan. In the past Pakistan has contributed its mite to bring Afghan Taliban in Dhoa, MURRE, Beijing and Russia but so far no tangible results has emerged out of these negotiation in which US representatives were also present.

However, it may be mentioned that Pakistan has no total control over Afghan Taliban, many groups of Afghan Taliban are operating with different ideas but all the Groups want foreign forces to leave Afghanistan and conduct free and fair elections under the UN supervision.

It may be mentioned here that without the participation of Iran in the peace settlement with Afghan Taliban, no progress can be achieved as Iran is a close neighbor of Afghanistan and has given shelter to Afghan people like Pakistan when US forces attacked in 2001.

To my mind the Afghan problem can be settled by give and take while Afghan Taliban need firm assurances from USA to vacate its occupation and let the true representatives be allowed to rule the country.

Moreover, the forthcoming elections in Afghanistan will not be legitimate as the present Government of Ashraf Ghani does not enjoy the support of the Afghan people, the war lords are also negative factor in Afghanistan whose main aim to let US forces be in Afghanistan and US aid should continue to stash it in their pocket.

Similarly India does not desire peace in Afghanistan as she wants to destablise Pakistan as well to sabotage the mega economic project of CPEC. Therefore how peace process can be successful when anti peace forces I mentioned above are biggest hurdle to peace settlement in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has always played positive role to the peace process but the final decision rests with Afghan Taliban who have suffered hugely because of war led by US and Nato forces.

Pakistan sincerely wants peace process to succeed as Pakistan has also suffered because of the war in Afghanistan, the terrorists from Afghanistan sneak into Pakistan to create havoc in the peaceful areas of Pakistan, once peace comes to stay in Afghanistan, Pakistan will be extremely happy to lend its full support on sustainable basis but the key to the success of peace process lies with USA, the one who started the war and now its her duty to end it through negotiations with Taliban.