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Editorial: Afghanistan is no bottom

In the wake of frequent violent and terror acts, the already war stricken Afghanistan was ranked on bottom of 163 peaceful nations of the world. The world is “considerably less peaceful now” than it was a decade ago, as the Middle East has become more violent and terrorist attacks have risen, the annual Global Peace Index said in an annual report. The 103-page analysis, conducted by the Institute for Economics and Peace, evaluates and ranks 163 nations and territories based on safety and security factors. It concluded in its 2019 report that although there’s less peace compared to a decade ago, the world is “very slightly” more peaceful in the last five years. “The index has deteriorated for eight of the last 12 years, with the last improvement in peacefulness … occurring in 2014,” the report states. It ranks Iceland as the world’s most peaceful country, for the 11th year in a row. New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark round out the top five. The least peaceful nation — Afghanistan, which took over the bottom spot from Syria a year ago. This year, Syria ranks second ranking d-to-last, trailed by South Sudan, Yemen and Iraq. This is the first year Yemen has ranked in the bottom five. “The [index] reveals a world in which the conflicts and crises that emerged in the past decade have begun to abate, but new tensions within and between nations have emerged,” the study states. The report notes that terrorist attacks are almost a daily occurrence in Afghanistan after 18 years of fighting. Peace talks have gained momentum in recent months, but the Taliban and Islamic State still have a presence there. The hopefulness of the Afghan government for peace efforts and lack of sincerity by Pakistan have affected the image of the reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan. The report at the time of expedited peace efforts by US Special Envoy Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad might be a serious question before United States and its allies. Now almost hurdles before return of peace and reconciliation are no more secret. Almost global forces are confirming involvement of neighboring countries in fueling of hostilities across Afghanistan. Despite hectic efforts of Russian Federation, United States and several other countries, the Taliban insurgents are reluctant to declare ceasefire or to help in inking of peace truce. It is the time for the so-called Unity government to realize its responsibility at this crucial stage. President Ghani made a plan of visiting Islamabad in sonnets time, therefore, he needs to make convince Pakistan’s military establishment that fueling of tension and violence in Afghanistan is no more in its interests. Global community needs to help return of peace and tranquility in Afghanistan, which might be in interests of all regional and neighboring countries. Khalilzad is in the region and he needs to focus his mission on dislodging of all those forces who are involved in making aggravating the situation in war affected Afghanistan.

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