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Editorial: Violence amidst talks becoming obstacle

Though over 50 leading figures from all segments in their personal and individual capacity are discussing ways and means for return of peace in the third round of intra-Afghan dialogues at Doha, Qatar, but continue violence inside Afghanistan seems the major hurdle in achieving the goals. Deadly terror act in Ghazni, second in a period of six days has smashed all ambitions of war affected countrymen regarding return of peace and tranquility. The deadly terror act is not only talk of streets throughout Afghanistan but it was also noticed during the intra-Afghan dialogue, jointly hosted by Germany and Qatar with consent of United States. Mini truck suicide attack at Ghazni left 12 dead and over 150 injured. Almost of the victims are civilians and Taliban through spokesperson claimed responsibility for this attack, which was apparently focused on school going children. During Doha dialogues, the participants have exchanged on several issues like women’s rights, press freedom, civilian’s rights and its protection, ceasefire, foreign forces withdrawal, the post-peace deal government and etc…. Shahgul Rezaee, one amongst the delegates from Kabul in the dialogue, said there is a need for time to judge about “real changes” in the Taliban’s perception about their “relations” with Afghans. She said that the Taliban’s attack in Ghazni on Sunday indicates that there are many problems in relations of the Taliban with the Afghan people and that there is no “serious change” in Taliban’s stance on civilian’s protection. “We need time to judge whether [peace] talks will have a result,” she said. But another delegate of the meeting, Anarkali Honaryar, said that participation of the Taliban around one table with women delegates “is a big change”. Anyway, rime will prove that how much the Taliban is firm on taking practical steps on what they discussed [in the meeting with Afghan delegates in Doha]. The Taliban talked about women’s rights, but time will prove that what they will do in practice. Taliban showed readiness for entering intra-Afghan issues, including a ceasefire, when a timetable on foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan is announced. Almost of delegates from both sides have shown satisfaction over conversation, but expecting positive outcomes or decisions like ceasefire could be premature at this stage. Whatever might be outcomes of Doha conference but Taliban’s sitting around one table with women delegates could be considered a major breakthrough. At this stage, Afghans throughout the world needs to take further steps for encouraging such type of sessions. After Germany and Qatar, now Norway is willing to host a similar session but “sitting eating and shaking hands should be converted into achievements.

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