Bid to bye-pass Pakistan for Afghan peace talks continues

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Gauhar Zahid Malik

Exclusive PO Report

As Pakistan honestly trying to improve its ties with Afghan Government and bring about an amicable solution to Afghan crisis, some regional states with blessing from a super power continue to try to bye-pass Pakistan and create confusion in the region.
Pakistan Observer has learnt from authoritative sources that a foreign power is trying to reach a strange deal with some leaders of Afghan Taliban and offering them a ‘stick-and-carrot’ adjustment in Afghanistan should they accept their presence through an under-table deal.
Attempt to lure Afghan leaders and their representatives in Doha and elsewhere have recently been made by foreign element in a bid to undermine Pakistan’s role and earnest effort for a long-lasting solution in Afghanistan.
The Afghan watchers in the region have detected several moves involving at least a regional state to lure Afghan Taliban for a direct communication with the super power without taking Pakistan into confidence.
The initiative received a set-back when Taliban leaders refused to be trapped in an artificial move and refused to approve ‘out of the box solution’ that is seen as a “compromise” to the dignity of Afghan nation.
Taliban leadership has recently made it clear that a negotiated settlement was acceptable only once foreign interference comes to a halt and decision are made by Afghan-led and Afghan-own leadership. An earlier Taliban demand for a complete withdrawal of foreign forces has been modified but even compromised resistance leaders such as Gulbadin Hikmatyar have rejected ‘foreign intervention’ and continued presence of foreign troops.
Meanwhile Pakistan has taken yet another initiative to resume four-party talks in Muscat, Oman to explore will and sincerity of the involved parties. But Taliban have strongly resented the dual-approach of U.S. and Afghan Govt. for ‘a peace talks’ while hitting those who come to talk.
Afghan Taliban during a recent meeting have once again rejected an attempt what they called “to impose an undignified solution” with long-time presence of foreign troops.
“Today we are ready to sacrifice our lives for a just struggle to free this country from occupation and we may be killed by brutal force used by a super-power and its allies but I can promise you that tomorrow the sons and daughters of Islamic Afghanistan would rise again and again to continue the struggle until our nation is free from occupation foreign forces and their agents”, the Emir of Taliban Mullah Haibatullah Akhond said in a charred speech to his supporters in Helmand city.
Taliban demand for withdrawal of foreign troops has already been rejected by President Donald Trump Administration but most foreign observers in Afghanistan understand that majority of people still consider foreign troops as “aggressor” and “occupying forces”.
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has come to the conclusion that “U.S. policy would lead to further destruction and would spill more blood of Afghans”.
At the same time the saner elements within Taliban have lately realised that time has changed in post 9/11 Afghanistan and progress as well as developments made during last one decade in Afghanistan cannot be reversed and thus slowly getting ready to recognize the “ground realities”.
Although some experts on Afghanistan argue that there is no guarantee that even after militants join the peace talks the foreign power which has spent so much in terms of men and money (trillions of dollars) would leave Afghanistan particularly at a time when minerals worth billions of dollars are lying there and Cold War is beginning to take a new shape. Others see the new U.S. methodology as part of a grand strategy to involve India into the new great game of Central Asia.
Pakistan’s leadership is now determined to turn to regional powers for a unified position against all forms of terrorists including foreign intelligence-backed insurgents with financial and logistic support from rival forces.
Pakistan is ready to work with China, Russia and all Central Asian states to prepare a common agenda to mobilise a united move to defeat all militant groups particularly foreign-inspired ISIS, TTP and Jamaat al Ahraar.