Stalemate in Afghan peace process broken

Ultimately, there emerges good news from Doha. Few months of frantic negotiation, Taliban and the Afghan Government have reached an agreement on a framework for peace talks. The development has eliminated the hindrances on the structured peace negotiations. Now, both parties can easily move for signing the long-term peace deal and ceasefire to violence in the war-torn country.
The talks between Taliban and Afghan government started on September 10. Ever since the war in Afghanistan, it was for the first time that both rivals sat together to negotiate peace in the country. Actually, the deal between Taliban and the US government is its forerunner which signed on February 29 this year. Undoubtedly, it raised the hope for peace in Afghanistan after 19-year long war in the country.
Although,the intra-Afghan talks hit a blow when Taliban and the Government in Kabul showed disagreement on the issue of prisoners’ exchange. It delayed the process of initiating intra-Afghan talks after the successful culmination of the peace agreement between US and Taliban in Doha. However, both parties resolved their differences and get on the swap of prisoners with USinvolvement.
Last month, Taliban revealed the process and procedure is available to move on the talks, but apprehended on President Ashraf Ghani holding the process in abeyance. On the other hand, Government in Kabul insisted on using the prefix Islamic Republic of Afghanistan instead ‘Islamic Emirates’ used by Taliban during their era. This issue was also resolved as Taliban conceded to it.
Furthermore, another point of confrontation was the use of Hanafi School of thought as the basis of law in the country. Indeed, it was aimed to alienate the Shiite population of the country. In the beginning, both sides were having differences of opinion. Later, it was resolved when two sides agreed on referring the matter to religious committee in order to accommodate the other people of the sects.
Both sides have now agreed on some 20-point preambles. The three-page document lays out the rules and procedure for the next round of the negotiations on the political roadmap. Notwithstanding this, the prime stumbling block to reach an agreement is the permanent ceasefire.
In the month of November alone, at least 206 Afghan security forces and 180 civilians have been killed due to Taliban violence. Officially, Taliban are in agreement with the US forces and not using violence against them, but they are unleashing violence and terror unabated against Afghan forces in order to pressurize the government in Kabul and also extend their territorial influence in the country.
“As negotiations on political roadmap and permanent ceasefire began, we will work hard with all sidesfor a serious reduction of violence and even a ceasefire during this period,”Zalmay Khalilzad the special US-Afghan peace envoy said.
In the meantime, pentagon has approved the troop’s reduction plan in Afghanistan announced by outgoing president Donald Trump prior to the US presidential election. Reportedly, the US plans to pull out 2,000 more US troops from Afghanistan by January 2021 and bringing down the overall presence in Afghanistan to 2500. Moreover, the NATO has 11000 troops in the Afghanistan at present for establishing a peace and maintains the security in the region. Though, according the peace agreement signed on February 29 this year hold that by May 1, 2021 the US forces will pull out from Afghanistan in total.
With the change of regime from Trump to Joe Biden in White House, there will be no change in the plan of US forces withdrawal from the Afghanistan. President-elect Joe Biden has remained of the similar stance as for far as military engagement is concerned. He, definitely disallow the presence of US forces on external expedition as well as in Afghanistan. By this way, he will carry on the similar approach for Afghanistan as incumbent president.
Indisputably, the finalization of the terms and guideline is a step worth important in the Afghan reconciliation process, but still there is a long way to go on to reach the consensus on a post-war political arrangements.
By summing up, ceasefire, protecting the rights of women and minorities, constitutional amendments, form of the government, nature of the law, and finally the ensuring the safe passage to those Taliban who will disarm and withdraw from the violence and war would be the top agenda of the upcoming intra-Afghan peace talks between the Taliban and the representative of the government. It is going to be a rough, bouncy and thorny road to peace in talks for Afghanistan.

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