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Editorial: US brokered peace talks

The US led peace talks in Abu Dhabi capital of United Arab Emirates continued for second consecutive day on Tuesday. However, there is no further developments in second round of direct talks between the US and Taliban political office Qatar. The Talban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement on twitter said that they discussed the withdrawal of foreign forces and reconstruction of Afghanistan. However US not yet issued any statement but Afghan president spokesperson Haroon Chaunkasri tweeted that Afghan negotiating team led by chief negotiator Abdul Salam Rahimi has arrived in Abu Dhabi to begin proximity dialogue with the Taliban delegation and to prepare for a face-to-face meeting between the two sides. But there are reports regarding hectic and heated debate on the proposal of a ceasefire for at least six months, Taliban participation in proposed interim government and Taliban’s insistence on pulling US led allied troops out of Afghanistan. A section of media reported, “the Taliban officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. delegation was pressing for a six-month ceasefire as well as an agreement to name Taliban representatives to a future caretaker government. The officials said the Taliban, fighting to drive foreign forces from Afghanistan and bring in their version of strict Islamic law, were resisting a ceasefire as they felt it would damage their cause and help U.S. and Afghan forces.” So far Afghan government didn’t made any clear statement regarding details of the Abu Dhabi parlays but an Afghan official through a message on social media, thanked the UAE for hosting the 4th round of quadrilateral meetings amongst Afghanistan, UAE, KSA and USA, adding “we discussed President Ashraf Ghani’s road map for peace presented at Geneva and direct engagement of Afghan Government with Taliban for intra-Afghan dialogue. Though Afghans are attaching great hopes with these talks and considering it fruitful for their future as they have already been made disheartened by wars, hostilities and external aggression. But still there are rifts and divisions amongst the stakeholders on future set up, especially induction of Taliban in political process. Certain reports reveal that Taliban are insisting on a free zone for their fighters in those areas having crossing points with the Pakistan, which may making alert no other than representatives of Afghan government. Almost Afghans are not only doubtful about the role but even sure about Pakistan’s involvement in negative acts. Tope leadership and fighters of several terrorist groups including the Taliban are enjoying sanctuaries along Durand Line in Pakistan side. Some of the Afghans believe that allocation of a special zone to Taliban might put at stake sovereignty and solidarity of Afghanistan. On such grounds, now the Afghan teams needs to remain alert. The Afghans are unanimously wants complete end to wars and hostilities and willing to give due space to Taliban political set up. But the events taking place in last four decades in motherland made them too much sensitive. US, UAE and KSA must keep in mind the ground realities, which might be hard for the Afghans to make compromise on sovereignty and solidarity of their motherland in future. It is the time for US, UAE and KSA to first declare a ceasefire amongst the warring factions and later go for searching of a durable solution to long standing conflict.

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