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Spanta says pressure to conduct peace talks based on US-Taliban deal, a colonial approach

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KABUL: Many have succumbed to fears that their criticism of the Taliban-US behavior in the Doha peace talks could lead to their alignment with the current Afghan government, according to Dr. Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, national security advisor to former President Hamid Karzai, who was referring to the conduct of peace talks in Doha and the US and Taliban unscrupulousness in the process.

About peace talks, he said, a code of conduct should be crafted for the talks and for our moral conduct. The Taliban’s rejecting Jafari jurisprudence, one of the most important Islamic sects in the Islamic world, showed that their reading of Islam is still narrow-minded and monopolist. They still believe that whipping, discrimination, and segregation among Islamic sects world constitute the essence of their interpretation of the religion.

Another key issue in the development of a roadmap for peace negotiations is how to deal with the Taliban’s agreement with the United States. In this case, the Afghan delegation is on one side and the US representative Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban are on the other side. They are trying to get the text of the US agreement with the Taliban to be the basis and starting point for peace talks. On such a basis, it seems that the legitimate Taliban government was overthrown by force of the United States, and today the United States is negotiating with the same force that it overthrew. I pause here to argue that the Taliban government was nothing more than Pakistan’s occupation of Afghanistan and that it was therefore not recognized by the world and the United Nations for its al-Qaeda nexus. Khalilzad’s mere signature does not give legitimacy to the political forces. The highest and only source of legitimacy of governments is the will of the people.

But, a US agreement with the Taliban could be binding on the signatory parties and not on the parties who were not in the negotiation process as a whole. None of Afghanistan’s politicians including former President Hamid Karzai, current President Ashraf Ghani, and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the Supreme National Reconciliation Council, have been involved in the US-Taliban talks, nor do they know the substance of the secret agreements with the Taliban.

Mr. Karzai with unparalleled generosity supported what Mr. Khalilzad wants to impose on us in the garb of peace. But Khalilzad did not once inform him of his secret deals with the Taliban and his promises with Pakistan; the fact is that we, the people of Afghanistan, have been shocked by this shooting in the dark and by this confusion in the US-Pakistan.

We have been confronted with nothing but deception, a pervasive mobilization in favor of the Taliban by the Americans and their allies to the point that even Taliban-Pakistani militants have resorted to the US State Department Special Envoy’s most greedy tactics and coercion.

Some believe that the Afghan government is resisting the Taliban’s desire to accept the Taliban-US agreement as the basis for peace talks. Experience has shown that the Afghan government will not be able to resist the pressures of the United States; sooner or later it will give in and accept their deal. But it is patriotic and moral to insist on rejecting the US-Taliban demand.

But these days, in spite of much political sorrow, the days of post-Cold War domination and monopolies, and the plundering and occupation of nations by military force are coming to an end. The end of the era of glorious sovereignty of the United States is a good thing.

Gone are the days when US policymakers “did not need a permit to enter Afghanistan”. It has often been seen that authoritarian powers have come to countries without legal permission, but the date of their departure and escape has been determined by the freedom-loving peoples of the world. Twentieth-century history in Vietnam, Cambodia, Algeria, South Africa, and many other places testifies to the same claim as nineteenth-century, twentieth-century, and most recently twenty-first Afghanistan history.

The people of a country have the right to choose their own political system. Democracy, human rights and social justice can only be achieved by relying on the eternal power of the people and the pro-democracy fighters. Having a neutral Afghanistan free of foreign bases that can both be at peace with its people and pose no threat to others will be the only just, humane option and a precondition for lasting peace. This requires a great patriotic and freedom-loving front and a militant front that can align its plans with the ideals of freedom, independence and social justice.

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