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Editorial: War or peace talks?

The Afghan masses have experienced many forms of suffering in the last 40 years of war and anarchy at the hands of many actors. It is nonetheless horrifying that Taliban and other terrorist groups killed many civilians and still are hell-bent on killing more Afghan masses in their different terroristic and unhuman attacks. There was huge hoped that Taliban to cease fighting as their leaders have been engaged in peace talks with US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. Progresses have claimed as U.S.-Taliban negotiators entered to its 9th day of talks on Saturday. Much anticipation was to have a peace deal with ceasefire in its immediate article to pave ground for intra-Afghan talks that could put an end to 19 years of bloodshed. However, it seems Taliban are not serious about peace talks as they launched an attack from several directions on northern capital city of Kunduz, which they have occupied twice in recent years. The attack and sound of heavy gunfire disrupted once again the normal lives of innocent residents of Kunduz. This is the third time the Taliban trying to take over the city. Taliban have held captive civilians, as they did in the past, including patients in a hospital. Shops and markets are closed and many destroyed. The telecommunication system has also been cut off. However, the Afghan security forces repelled the Taliban’s attack and airstrikes also being carried out against the militants. As usual, the brave Afghan National Defense and Security Forces were fully prepared to thwart Taliban offensives, but casualties have been inflicted in both sides. Since Taliban taken positions in civilians houses and areas, ruling out resident’s casualties is not rational. But hope less fatalities happen. The point is that Taliban’s attack demonstrates that the militants do not accept the opportunity for peace created by US. Attack on Kunduz is completely in contradiction with what they talk about in the peace process in Doha. In one side, Taliban carrying talks with US, in other side, they are conducting attacks on homes, residential areas of Afghan masses that exhibit their dishonesty in the peace talks. That brutality has come as hope for signing peace deal with US was very much near. After the attack, many Afghan masses took social media to give vent to their anger over Taliban’s attack in Kunduz, as one wrote, “guess there won’t be peace and no US withdrawal from Afghanistan, let’s crush Taliban into ashes in Kunduz.” This is curial time and the Taliban group must exercise extreme caution and halt attacking residential areas in order to win the heart of Afghan masses if they are really willing to relegate into Afghan society. Taliban needed to take soft policy by shunning violence if they are keen for a peaceful political defrayal.

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