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Renewed peace talks

When the prospect for peace talks looks fertile, getting media reports about Doha peace talks resumption is a glad tiding for the people of Afghanistan that has been caught between the hammer and the anvil of death and destruction for the past 30-plus years. Since the current Afghan government has upped its relations with Pakistan, and the longest war of the world has officially come to an end by America by declaring its combat mission end, prospect for peace has started becoming healthy. Amid such a scenario, Dawn newspaper of Pakistan has quoted an unnamed top Pakistani official confirming the resumption of contacts between the Afghan government and the Taliban representative with Pakistan’s facilitation. The Taliban, who have long been viewed by Pakistan’s security establishment as its foreign policy assets, have used soil of Pakistan as a haven and headquarters. The breakthrough (resumption of peace talks) has been enabled by Afghanistan’s foreign policy revamp by the new government and the improvement in relations between Kabul and Islamabad. Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai had attempted to nudge the Taliban on peace talks but the way the Taliban opened their political bureau in Qatar’s Doha stirred controversy. Peace talks were stalled. However after a long time peace talks have been resumed and this time the process shouldn’t be permitted to derail. The former government attempted to keep the peace process intact with its own strategies and mechanism while the new government has taken totally a different strategy. In pursuit of peace, ex-President Hamid Karzai had to take long remonstrance against the United States while stalling on agreement for ISAF troops to stay beyond 2014, ending nighttime raids, but the Taliban didn’t bite at the opportunity. Now the new government holds out opportunity. This time they should bite at it. Though, the Taliban hailed ex-Afghan government for not signing the security agreement but created problems for Kabul. Now there shouldn’t be any balls-up by the Taliban. All the parties to the war need to avoid the past mistakes so that the process is not stalled. All the stakeholders feel it that peace cannot be achieved through violence as it’s something that can only be attained through understanding. For understanding talks are the only viable path. The Taliban’s representative should know that the US and NATO have already lowered the flag of ISAF whereas now is the time to ponder over the matter what the bloodshed of the past 14 years has given this nation? All the stakeholders should think what might the future hold given the growing insecurity, economic uncertainty, political instability, all grinding poverty, and other social, political, cultural and economic woes being unleashed by the longest war in Afghanistan? Peace is life. Without peace the region and the world will always remain insecure. Earlier there were reports about the visit of Taliban’s representatives to Beijing that earned positive gesture from the government and as well as people of Afghanistan. Now that peace process has been resumed it should remain intact till its success as neither Afghanistan is in the position to see it sliding back and to sustain death and destruction for another decade nor Pakistan can tolerate the fire of terror should be raging on its soil. When the two countries cannot tolerate terrorism for another decade why not to carve out a joint mechanism about peace?

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