Emboldened by unprecedent gains in diplomatic arena with the support of certain regional countries led by Pakistan, and a win-lose results in Doha agreement between the United States and the Taliban, the group has recently increased its military campaign against Afghan Government after a temporary lull that paved the way for signing the agreement between the US and the Taliban in Doha. Though serious concerns were raised both at national and international levels about dangerous consequences to exclude Afghan Government as a party to the Doha agreement, the US adamantly moved ahead and agreed to all pre-conditions set forth by the Taliban and signed the accord with the group. In addition, the whole negotiation process was dictated by a newly formed block of countries, led by Pakistan and maneuvered around pre-set agenda that falsely accommodated the US interests, oblivious to consequences and detached from ground realities. One of the many blunders of this whole process was to sideline India, an important regional power and major stakeholder with traditional and historic ties with Afghanistan. Though the US Special Envoy visited India to meet with and update Government leaders there, concerns of India was not accommodated in the process.
The US pressure on Afghan Government to release high profile prisoners of notorious Haqqani network, and senior members of the Taliban along with five thousand additional Taliban fighters, and to withhold Afghan Security and Defense Forces (ASDF) operations against the Taliban and Haqqani network, was to honor terms of agreement the US signed with the Taliban. The fact that Afghan Government was not a party to Doha accord, but is still forced to act upon what the US agreed to, is in fact fueling to rise flimsy sentiments among population about the Government of Afghanistan, which the Taliban and other armed groups had been touting for years, referring to Afghan Government as the US puppet regime. Recent rise in violence by the Taliban against civilians and Government forces across the country that has inflicted huge casualties on ASDF, is one of the immediate consequences of the Doha accord.
There is little doubt that Pakistani intelligence services had dictated the agenda and terms of Doha accord, which is a clear continuation of the agency’s unfinished mission / agenda designed in the early decade of 1990s, i.e. barring Mujahideen groups to enter into peace agreement with Dr. Najeebullah’s socialist Government. Pakistan didn’t want a stable central Government led by Afghans including Mujahideen and Dr. Najeebullah’s party, and the aim was to instead create warlords with militia type armies, dividing Afghanistan into feudal type regions so that anarchy could rule supreme and to obliterate national institutions. Though this has resulted in havoc and destruction in the country, the ultimate goal of Pakistan hidden agenda did not materialize because of the ensuing events (the rest is history). The Doha accord paves the way for the US to set back and detach itself from its Afghan partners and let the Taliban to dictate terms of so-called peace negotiation with Afghan Government on their own without a clear timeline. The Taliban will now protract negotiations while putting military pressures on ASDF with an aim to weaken Afghan Government and gain more ground with military force, which would eventually led to total collapse of Afghan state institutions, paving the way for the Taliban to completely take over the country and install institutions as dictated in the unfinished mission / agenda of 1990s. Though ground realities prevailing now differ with those in 1990s, the progress made in Afghanistan during last almost two decades could be lost in a blow if the country’s partners and stakeholders in the region do not extend hands to support the Afghan Government in the face of so many barrages of conspiracies and changing loyalties – especially the United States of America should not use Afghanistan as a card to fulfil election campaign promises. There are chances this country can become hotbed for terrorist activities that can for sure threaten the entire world’s security and safety.
The Taliban official site, which is run in Urdu language and is directed to their audience in Pakistan, publish literature that draw their true design for Afghanistan. “The ground beneath the feet of Ashraf Ghani is shrinking not just militarily, but also diplomatically as a result of the Doha agreement”, says one of the publications on the Taliban sites. It says, “the decision not to include the regime in the peace talks is a slap in the face to the regime leadership”, referring to Afghan Government. In their publications, the Taliban singles out democracy as the main obstacle to peace. It says, “It is not possible to escape from the physical barriers that the enemies placed in our country…by embracing democracy.” It continues, “the solution lies in the change of the cruel system (democracy) brought by the occupiers”. The Taliban continues to reaffirm commitment to Jihad, “military and political Jihadi action is the effective remedy demolishing the walls of the external occupiers (and) their internal clients in Afghanistan”. These are very recent attitude of the Taliban towards so called peace process and their designs for the country. “The Doha agreement shines for one outstanding point: it does not meet any demand by the Afghan Government and the international community, while it becomes an effective for the enforcement of the Taliban objectives”.
The writer is Mohammed Gul SAHIBBZADA, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kainaat Group of Companies (KGC)