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Editorial: Violence jeopardizing peace bid

The Afghan government and the Taliban group, to whom the US signed a peace deal, have been engaged in accusation spree raising fear of derailing the Afghan peace process. US-Taliban signed a landmark agreement in Doha on 29th February to end the 19-year-long war in Afghanistan where the war-weary Afghans are hopeful it will release them from war. But the deal has yet to show results, rather war has been intensified. Over 1,213 civilians (126 women-225 children) were killed and 1,744 others (171 women – 405 children) maimed during the first six months of 2020. The Taliban are responsible for 48.5 percent of the casualties, followed by the Afghan security forces with 15.5 percent, according to human rights watchdog. International forces were responsible for 6.3 percent casualties, IS-K or so called Daesh were behind 2.3 percent. The deal failed so far to stop Afghan killings. Afghan government accused the Taliban for surge in insurgent attacks and the Taliban termed it propaganda by the government aimed at undermining the still-unscheduled intra-Afghan talks. Monday’s Taliban attack in Samangan was a bloody one. Based on the Doha agreement, the Taliban will no more attack US forces and Washington sees it as a great milestone in its implementation. It also reduced forces and departed five bases. NATO troops also come down in proportion numbers. But the Afghan government sees reduction in violence a key factor toward direct negotiations. Indeed, use of major explosives against Afghan forces and not agreeing for reduction in violence, could potentially damage the prospect of peace talks. Violence is unacceptable from both sides (Kabul-Taliban). Continuation of fighting between Afghan security forces and the Taliban insurgents will only strengthen and play into hands of spoilers – none can ignore the active role of some certain elements that lead the situation to worsening and working to fail the process. Afghan government and the Taliban have to open direct channels of communication to fail those conspiracies for the sake of peace. So far, Taliban’s commitment to reduce violence prove wrong and their actions inconsistent with their rhetoric on peace. There is no military solution to the ongoing conflict, and it’s better for warring sides to realize this fact in earliest and honestly come to the fore to make this peace process a success.

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