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Euphoria amid peace talks

Editorial:

The much-anticipated announcement regarding the intra-Afghan parleys’ launch brought immense joy to the war-ravaged Afghans. The landmark peace talks were facilitated by the release of the remaining six death row Taliban inmates, who were confirmed to have arrived in Qatar in a special plane and would be supervised and placed under house arrest until November when a final decision would be made about their fate. As the talks are confirmed to kick-off on Saturday, following the inaugural ceremony participated by many dignitaries, the first and foremost aspect is to agree on a lasting truce. This issue should be prioritized because it’s the prime demand of the Afghan people, who are the ones mostly affected by the continuing violence, and a breakthrough in this regard would realize the tangible positive benefit of the peace for Afghans. Meanwhile, the whole world has welcomed the direct talks but it doesn’t suffice. They should continue their cooperation until both the Afghan warring sides reach a sustainable peace. Now that Afghans are left to their own devices – given the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned negotiations – it’s reasonable to be optimistic that they would avail of this historic opportunity and finally make peace. It’s true that it won’t be an easy task to concur on many crucial issues but a resolution to those issues is only possible through talks and nothing else – military efforts have more than once proven to be futile. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how much are the talks contentious but it is the only forward. Nevertheless, the warring sides should be cognizant of the spoilers of peace and the destructive delays. This is because there are so many enemies and spoilers in play that could undermine the talks and throw spanner in the works every now and then, leading to distrust among the negotiators. That scenario would be a loss for the Afghans, considering the progress made so far, and thus it should be avoided at all costs. Moreover, the negotiators should now share details of any progress and development being achieved throughout the talks and keep the public in the loop about the key issues which are deciding their future. And that’s why the agenda of the talks and its details should be disseminated so that every step is transparent and publicly-endorsed. Although hammering out the huge differences and issues between the Afghan government and the Taliban would be a cumbersome ordeal, compromise on the part of both sides is key to being successful.

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