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No one will be allowed to sabotage peace efforts

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: The Afghan political pundits on Monday said no one will be allowed to sabotage the ongoing peace push brokered by US administration, saying the spoilers have not hidden the fact that the interest of the country is not on their agenda.

They weighted behind current peace efforts, where recently the fifth round of talks between US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban negotiating members in Qatar come to end, where they agreed upon key issues including counterterrorism efforts, not using Afghan soil against other country, troops withdrawal, and intra-Afghan talks.

Following 16 consecutive days of talks in Qatar that has been wrapped up last week with some progress within, a number of Afghan political figures believe that finally peace is near, while some others putting the path to peace to a long and tedious boulevard.

When peace is near and US making all out efforts to bring a halt to the current conflict, senior government official talked against Khalilzad, blamed him for seeking power in Afghanistan through talks with the Taliban. The political figures believe the national unity government is bent on sabotaging the peace process in order to secure their power at least for more five years.

Political experts termed National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib’s recent remarks against Khalilzad and called it a kind of move to sabotage the negotiation process with the Taliban. 

Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib has criticized US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad for what he alleged trying to reach power and circumventing the elected Afghan government in peace talks with the Taliban.

Criticizing Mohib for his remarks, Ex-President Hamid Karzai Advisor Shahzada Masoud termed it a step toward disrupting peace process in a bid to save their own power and position.

According to him, Afghans including political figures totally weights behind Khalizad’s peace efforts.

Pointing to Moscow Afghan and Taliban meeting, a kind of first intra Afghan talks, he said next round will be held in Doha between Afghan political figures and Taliban members with expectation to yield positive result.

“We prefer peace rather than election, and it must be on priority,” he said, adding the negotiation must be under a national frame.

According to him, progress has been made and hopes have been much higher for peace, and no one has the right to sabotage the process.

He also termed role of region and behind very much important in the peace process. “Peace must be guaranteed by US, Russia, China and other big powers and international organization in order not to face another challenges in the future.”

It is essential to reach peace through an Afghan platform that we already have as “Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process”, he said.

“The Afghan masses including political figures must be involved in peace talks, including the government.”

He said government delegations must be merged with Afghan delegation who are not part of current government to go to Doha. “This will help to create a better team to gain achievement in the peace talks with the Taliban.”

The Taliban group realized that there would be no winner or loser in the Afghan conflict, he said, terming peace as only remedy to reach peace.

He said Loya Jirga should be convened in a bid to make decision over peace deal once peace inked with the Taliban group. But he insisted over safeguarding of last 18 years’ achievements in the peace deal.   

Following peace, Afghanistan will have good ties with the neighboring countries and world based on mutual interests and respects, he said.

“Before and after peace, keeping unity is the most vital issue for Afghans, thus all tribes must exert utmost efforts to boost up unity across the country.”

Another Political Analyst and Presidential Candidate, Farmarz Tamana said things like knowing the fact about ongoing peace talks and relations between US and Taliban must be unveiled.

“Criticizing US political steps regarding Afghanistan is a good step, but when such thing should have done is must be realized,” he said, according to him it is not right time to attack US.

Hinting toward Mohib’s remarks against US envoy, he said it was a political misplay, we should not talk over our big political issues in Washington, but it should express inside Kabul in order to change a constructive diplomacy in foreign policy.

He said lack of coordination between government and its foreign policy officials would cause to lead the government into isolation and then its main victims would be the Afghans.

“In total, I am agreeing with the remarks, US and Khalilzad want to play once again with the fate of Afghan nation, but Afghan people won’t let them to once again play with us through once and other game.”

Thought the peace process is a complicated one, but despite that optimism has been toward ongoing negation to lead ceasefire between US and Taliban,” he said, but lamented that this won’t mean end of war in Afghanistan.

“Different clusters are involved in peace issues, which all need to be focused to have better conclusion.”

Blaming the government for sabotaging peace process, he said the delegation appointed to run peace talks with Taliban is weak and did not have capability to advance the process, he added.

“Government has an interim vision to peace and willing to guarantee its lasing.”

“Till now, US is following its own interests; Taliban and the government also following their own interests in peace deal but it’s the Afghan masses who are at the brink of sacrificing.”

Moreover, a member of parliament and political expert Abdul Qader Zazai said likely some points that had been expressed by the Mohib could be true, but expressing such views in this situation is against diplomatic culture, particularly at this time where Afghanistan is burning in conflict and US is attempting to bring peace here.       

Negation between US and Taliban is belonged to them; Afghan officials must wait till the phase of issues between Afghanistan and Taliban to come.

Mentioned remarks would impact government and US relations, but it won’t impact peace process, because peace is not a governmental process it belonged to all nation and political figures and the government can’t blemish this process, he stated.

Hinting to the government delegation for peace negotiation, he said the appointed governmental delegation is not acceptable for political figures and parties as they don’t have experiences regarding Jirga and peace.

The delegation for peace negotiation must be impartial from all segments and including political figures in order to reach progress and achieve durable peace in the country, he underlined.

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