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Editorial: Talks for talks

Afghan peace process is continuously dragged on by the international and regional players. Giving length to the reconciliation drive is in their larger interests, but costs lives and properties of Afghan people.  Lives of the Afghan masses are of little value for them as the key players are in the quest to secure their interests before the war-devastated land returns to stability. Therefore, the Afghan peace drive is exhausted and direly needs a heavy dose of reforms, both internal and external. Without fundamental change in the High Peace Council’s structure, we cannot dream of overhaul and speeding up the orphan peace drive which is led by different countries in different directions.

After establishment of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), comprising of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States, hopes of the troubled nation were high that they would not more be homeless in their own homeland. However, the QCG is proving a disappointed because the Taliban and its key affiliate Haqqani Network have rejected becoming part of the peace process will sticking to its major demands such as withdrawal of foreign troops from the country; removal of the major Taliban commanders’ names from the UN black list; and release of its fighters from Afghan prisons. It is yet to be made clear that whether there are any Taliban prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center or not. However, if there are any, the Taliban will seek their release in first state of the talks if they ever given green signal to the peace process.

Caught in confusion, the QCG has been left with no other option by the Taliban’s boycott of the process but to revise and renew its reconciliation strategies. The coordination group was expected to hold another session, but it was postponed after request of the Afghan government. Kabul leadership is probably planning to go hard on the militant groups while creating pressure over the QCG members to bring the dissident groups to the table or talks or eliminate them.

As the Taliban has announced its spring offensive, it is necessary for the unity government to build pressure over other three members of the coordination group to announce a decisive battle against Afghan insurgents if they are not ready to renounce violence. This year will be a defining moment for the government. If it fails to improve security situation and cut support to the militant groups, then it would see itself abandoned. It shall keep intact the little faith that public has now over the government.

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