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US, Pakistan behind every regional feud, claims Kabul-based think tank

Taliban insurgents should be considered and talked to as a significant party into the war and making peace with them is of paramount importance than anything else.

AT News Report

KABUL: The Rana think tank during its monthly session comprehensively discussed the status quo of Afghanistan and the peace process, concluding that the Taliban should be considered and negotiated with as an indispensable stakeholder of the Afghanistan war.

An invited guest to the think factory’s June’s session, Dr. Hafizuddin Safi, said Afghanistan was going through a very sensitive condition and Afghans needed to be united, “so that they don’t give the Taliban rebels and some other neighboring enemies of Afghanistan an opportunity to exploit from the situation.”

He lamented that the Afghan government and politicians haven’t still reached to a collective unanimity in this regard.

Safi, while analyzing the current situation, stated: “The present circumstances aren’t that much different from that of the ex-president Dr. Najibullah’s era,” emphasizing that the tragic occurrences of that time would never be forgotten by Afghans.

According to him, Pakistan and the US were backing the Mujahedeen then when they were supporting and swaying armed groups against the government. “Now they are doing the same with the Taliban. They want to make the most of the current situation in order to achieve their aims and interests.”

Safi went on to say that the Taliban were deliberately being shown powerfuland dominant when in fact they weren’t as such.

Safi claims that every hostility and conflict in the region is a joint venture of the US and Pakistan, stressing that everything happensvia their close coordination.

Feeding on the current riftsbetween the government and politico, the Taliban benefited a lot and received many privileges, he maintained, adding currently, this group was on its way to claiming even more authority and power.

As per his viewpoint, if thereare any steps being taken in the peace arena, it should be done in collaboration and agreement with the Afghan government and political elite. “All stakeholders should come together as a united nation by shunning their interests of flanks, parties, and ethnic groups.”

The national interests should be center stage in the peace process, not the interests of Ashraf Ghani or any other person, Safi sustained, adding, “Whenever the enemy sensed that Afghans are united and unified, then cooking up nefarious designs would never cross their minds.”

He warns if government, political parties, and politicians each sets out on own paths, then the enemy would optimally capitalize on situation and make everybody paly at their hands by steering the game towards its advantage.

Other participants of the session, in an emotive tone, said that the Taliban were nothing and whenever a resolute and strengthened resolve was brought about, they could be easily crushed.

Theyalleged the number of fighters of the Taliban didn’t exceed 40,000 and they could be restrained and frustrated with ease.

Another participant of the think tank gathering and erstwhilegovernor of Kabul, Abdul Jabbar Taqwa, said: “The Taliban are a reality on the Afghan soil that we cannot turn a blind eye to. Afghans should avoid emotional talks and pay attention to facts and face reality.”

According to him, the Taliban holds a large territory under the reign and they are strengthening day by day. “They should be accepted as a key party into the conflict and negotiated with accordingly.”

He said that the best way to approach this was making all-out efforts for putting an end to the war and championing for peace success.

Taqwa added that Afghanistan was currently in a very sensitive situation and this opportunity of peace should be availed from both by the Afghan side and the Taliban.

Another participant, Sarwar Ahmadzai, termed the Afghan government as a losing side equally in war and peace spheres. On the contrary, he assumed, the Taliban’s side had both utilized from the war, as well as extraordinarilybenefitting from the peace process. “In contrast, the Afghan government has failed in every sphere and aspect.”

Slamming the recentgatherings of Afghan politicians and the Taliban in Moscow, Russia, a number of other attendees said the political elite should act in accordance with and under the government’s order. However, some others strongly opposed such stance, citing that the Taliban weren’t even willing to face and talk to the government and thus there was no other option in such a situation.

It was tabled during the think factory’s meeting that the government still didn’t believe in the ongoing process of peace but rather it was striving for re-electing President Ashraf Ghani for another five years by conducting a rigged election. In such circumstances, every small window of opportunity for peace would close, they warned.

Some participants dubbed the government’s strong emphasis on the presidential polls and convening the Consultative Loya Jirga (grand council) as two evident proofs showing the government’s fear of peace, claiming the government didn’t even want the peace to be achieved as soon as the masses wished it.

They believed that extending its mandate and monopolization of authority and power for another five years were something most vital for the incumbent government and not ensuring peace and bringing an end to the war.

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