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Editorial: Digest peaceful Afghanistan

Extension of ceasefire and arrival of peace convoy in Kabul after trekking across the country on foot with sole purpose of end to the 17-year long war, has generated hope besides could be taken as precursor to peace talks with the Taliban group. Temporary ceasefire declared by government and Taliban group—unprecedented move, leading to fraternization between security forces and Taliban fighters plus civilians. Taliban members emerged from their hideouts, entering towns and cities across the country. In Kabul, the capital city, the Taliban roamed freely on streets and residents widely welcomed them, demanding prolong of ceasefire. There were unparalleled scenes of Afghan forces and Taliban fighters hugging each other during ceasefire. Unfortunately, Taliban announced end of truce despite extension from government. Taliban said there would be no extension and fighters would be expected to leave government-controlled areas. As a whole it was a successful ceasefire as Afghan forces neither killed nor wounded, reciprocally from Taliban group. It is a sign of cohesion, demonstrating utterly different face of Afghanistan that still possibility for peace is energetic with eventually reaching durable peace and stability. We had heart-wrenching incidents in eastern Nangarhar province that killed and wounded dozens of people. But this has nothing to do with ceasefire as Daesh (IS) and al-Qaeda extremist groups were not included in truce. These are foreign terrorists, and will fight them till their perishing. But Afghan Taliban should realize the fact that certain elements are here who can’t digest reality that Afghanistan could be a peaceful country. Let’s fade away their evil desire by accepting truce. Their upbringing is to destabilize Afghanistan for their personal gains. It’s like doomsday for them to see an extraordinary scene of Taliban embracing security forces and posing for selfies with citizens. Civilians, who suffered most during years of war, flocked to greet Taliban members, fuelling hopes that peace is possible. But, grey picture has been revealed after Reuters reported that an emergency meeting was called and all the commanders were informed and directed to take strict disciplinary action against all those Taliban members who visited citizens and took pictures with the Afghan authorities. Such statement from Taliban leadership was unexpected at least at this time when Afghans widely welcome them. It is time for Taliban fighters to ask reason behind leadership’s rage at their members swapping selfies. It was most peaceful Eid ever. For the first time Afghans felt safe. It is difficult to simply describe the joy. The same joy and happiness highly appeared among Taliban members, an utterly indication of becoming fed up with war. Time is ripe for the leadership of Taliban group to become accountable to their fighters, especially after pronouncing strict action against Taliban members who honored ceasefire in true letter and spirit.

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