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ED: Role of Muslim world in Afghan peace

Afghanistan has been in a sticky wicket ever since peace parleys with the Taliban insurgents had stalled in Qatar. The militant group has been at loggerheads with the worldwide proposition to sit down and talk about how to bridge the chasm.

However a new era might unfold in the sphere of peace negotiations and reconciliation, as Afghanistan’s top security advisor is pushing with a politic of rapprochement. Haneef Atmar is looking to expand the defense ties with the Gulf States – which can play increasingly positive role in orchestrating peace talks in Afghanistan.

In his visit to Saudi Arabia, Haneef Atmar met senior Saudi officials including crown prince Mohammad bin Salman. Atmar meeting Saudi officials is deemed positive as the kingdom has agreed to take steps in helping the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

Abdul Rasoul Sayyaf, a jihadi leader and a member of parliament also flew to Riyadh to attract Saudi officials’ attention to Afghanistan issues and seek their help in the stalled peace talks with the Taliban – which are said to enjoy good relations with the kingdom.

Saudi along with other Islamic nations can play an important role in Afghanistan affairs. The Persian Gulf states had assisted the mujahideen and were also among the countries that recognized Taliban’s government (1996-2001). So, Riyadh can use its influence on the Taliban to convince them to accept peace talks with the government of Afghanistan.

The location of the two holy Muslim cities Mecca and Medina is another element that helps the kingdom to be influential in the Muslim world. All the Muslims pay respect to these places and try to have good relationships with the Saudi government.

The issue that has caused Islamic countries be unable to resolve their problems, is unfortunately that they lack unity. This encourages others to interfere in the Muslim countries’ affairs and pursue their whims.

The population of Muslims soars up to one billion in the world, a number that can be a decision-making momentum in international deals if they have a united stance.

This issue is also a room of thought about the Afghan affairs. Afghanistan has been the battle for superpowers’ maneuverings since 2001 in a second episode of war that began under the slogan of ‘war on terror’. While everyone knows that terror is being imposed on the people of Afghanistan from abroad, the war still takes lives of the people. War will not allow Afghans to enjoy a peaceful life.

The people of Afghanistan ask the Islamic countries to have sympathy with them and honestly help them put an end to it. Saudi is one of the countries that can play a strong role in the Afghan peace process.

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