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Editorial: Polarity at its peak

When the intra-Afghan talks seem to be just around the corner, there are some key issues ahead of Afghans that need deep deliberation and a proper approach to resolve them. Discussion over the Constitution, the republican system, the Afghan security forces and women’s rights are among some of the huge issues that need to be dealt with in the upcoming intra-Afghan talks. In a recent interview with Shamshad TV channel, Suhail Shaheen surprisingly alleged that the hands of the Afghan security personnel were stained with the blood of the nation. The Taliban insurgent group’s spokesman once again dismissed the President Ashraf Ghani’s administration, saying they didn’t recognize it as a government and that they won’t enter into talks with any group that purports to represent the government. The most shocking of all remarks was one when he said that they rejected all titles and honors of the past two decades – such as the Marshal rank, the National Hero, the Peace Martyr or the National Unity Martyr, etc. – adding “if there is to be a National Hero, for us it’s Haqqani and not Massoud.” The totalitarian attitude of the Taliban, if not altered, would enrage the Afghan people because they won’t agree to participate in the peace talks with such a group. Given these remarks, it seems there is a huge polarity – rather at its peak – between the Afghan nation and the Taliban on how they see the prominent figures in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a multi-ethnic country and the only way to live peacefully in this country is to respect each other and each other’s honors and entitlements. If the ethnic groups living in Afghanistan do not respect one another, the result will be nothing but a continuation of war – whereby all these peace talks would mean, and result in, ‘nothing’ as we would be witnessing another civil war. Most importantly, the people of Afghanistan consider their security forces as the guardians of the country’s integrity and are part of their achievements and pride. It wouldn’t be long when these unreasonable remarks would face public uprisings and backlash. But then again, it seems all of this is part of exercising and resorting to strategic brinkmanship, aimed at gaining higher leverage and upper hand before the intra-Afghan talks start. Moreover, the Afghan security forces are the red-line of Afghans as they are a national and Islamic force. Nevertheless, all these conflicting voices and opinions are solvable but only through face-to-face negotiations, which should be launched at the earliest possible.

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