Afghanistan Peace Talks – A Road to Better Future
A political settlement if reached may increase the chances of chaos and civil war in Afghanistan. The Taliban Supreme Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada said ahead of the second day of talks in Qatar, that the group favors a political settlement for the future of the country.
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The Doha talks ended with a lack of any agreement of ceasefire but made ground for further talks. The two sides agreed to prevent civilian casualties, and hence found common ground for further talks. The Taliban also thanked Qatar for supporting the peace process, but lashed out at foreign powers’ interference in the country. Emphasizing that the government and Taliban should solve their dispute between themselves.
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Supremacy of Taliban:
The Taliban have been making immense territorial gains in the state. It has been reported that nearly half of the 400 districts of the nation are under Taliban control. Fighting has been reported in 26 of the 34 provinces of the country.
The Taliban have also laid siege to provincial capitals and have captured important border crossings. With these significant gains in the state, a Taliban government seems inevitable. The Doha talks may seem insignificant to one, as the Taliban have upper hand in the conflict.
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It is confusing as to why should they settle out differences with the government. The talks show their will to look forward to being accepted into the international society and to move forward with peace in the state.
However, a settlement agreement between the two may not be as fruitful as it seems. The Taliban have shown unity in the field, with an effective chain of command and efficient campaigns carried out with coordination.
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Despite rumors of a split between their leadership, rumored splits may widen with the onset of a settlement agreement. It is not known how much the Taliban leadership has influence and control over its commanders. The commanders, fighting on the frontline against the government soldiers, may see this deal as a betrayal to their cause, and the establishment of an Islamic State.
This sentiment, if raised, would result in a division into many factions of the united Taliban. This scenario would be a severe blow to the peace in Afghanistan, resulting in an inevitable civil war in the state, plunging it into chaos and a severe humanitarian crisis that may spread in the region.
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Peace is the Way:
Hence, the prospects of peace in the state are reliant on these issues as well. The willingness of both the parties, along with the Taliban’s engagement with the commanders regarding the deal is an absolute necessity for peace.
Not only would this help the Taliban in gaining recognizable government in the country, but would also help them in being internationally recognized. It can further result in being removed from the Terror List. Hence, the peace process in Afghanistan is a complex one, and is far from simple as can be observed by the naked eye. Afghanistan Peace Talks – A Road to Better Future
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Author: Zeeshan Naveed