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Editorial: Blame game

Despite the US-Taliban peace deal signed in last February, trust deficit and hostility could still be seen among the rivals, with non-implementation and disrupted timeline of the deal’s terms further compounding the issue. In a meeting this week in Doha, the head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller said the Taliban had failed to curb violence as required by the agreement. The Taliban leaders returned the favor by stating that the US was aiding the Afghan government that is busy fighting them. Such a deficit and blame game create hurdles for the execution of the agreement, which is gradually become irrelevant, and leaves little hope for a much-needed peace. On top of that, though the Afghan government’s release of 300 prisoners that the Taliban reciprocated by freeing 20 prisoners has been somewhat encouraging, the situation on the ground is much more complex in terms of progress in the peace process. The Kandahar governor revealed that the detainees freed by the Taliban were civilians and not military personnel – apart from one policeman who served some 11 years ago. Surprisingly, the Taliban were earlier said to hold not as much government prisoners as they pronounce. So, desperate for the deal to work out, the insurgent group had resorted to kidnapping passengers and civilians to complete the 1,000 quota they had promised as part of the deal. Given this, no party to the conflict seems true to their word. And the Taliban’s hard and hasty push to get 5,000 prisoners released before the launch of intra-Afghan negotiations seems a task they want to get it over with because it might not be possible once the intra-Afghan negotiations kick-off. Therefore, there is a lot more that needs to be done, whereas the blame game won’t help the process at all. Instead, solutions should be sought and as a first and foremost measure, the belligerent parties should work on easing out tensions and building up trust. Especially, trust between the Afghan government and the Taliban is of the essence because the guarantor of enduring stability in Afghanistan is the success of Afghans in ironing out differences and coexisting in peace, not some deal with a foreign country. The current unnecessary bickering and continued hostilities between the Taliban and Kabul are threatening to reverse the gains made in recent months. Therefore, the intensified violence should be reduced to pave the ground for building up trust; otherwise, if the current situation continues and foreign forces withdraw, the future of Afghanistan appears bleak as conditions remain ripe for another civil war.

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