Be watchful of spoilers


WHILST the Afghan peace process is moving in the positive direction with prospects high of direct talks between the Taliban and Kabul Government in the coming weeks or months, the spoilers not happy to see revival of peace in Afghanistan are once again out to create misunderstandings and spoil the whole process with their nefarious acts.
Three bombs that rocked the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday and killed at least fifteen people is a stark reminder that the road ahead is not very smooth but all the stakeholders will have to stay focused and maintain the current trust level for the ultimate success of the peace process. It is for the first time that the current Afghan peace process seems to have brought peace in Afghanistan much closer and within sight. As talks between Taliban and the US are continuing and progressing well in Doha, the Afghan Taliban have now come up with a positive statement that they are ready to visit Pakistan and meet Prime Minister Imran Khan if they are formally invited for a meeting by Islamabad. This development has come after Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to Washington had hinted at a possible meeting with the Taliban. He had also stated that they will also urge the Taliban to talk with the Afghan Government and come to a political solution. Talks in Doha and recent Pakistan-US engagement in Washington clearly show the commitment of all the sides towards the peace process and they must stick to it and make the process irreversible, no matter what come may. This is something that will not be acceptable to the enemy of peace who in fact get perturbed over mere US President Donald Trump’s offer of mediation on Kashmir dispute. One must keep in mind the fact that whenever some progress towards peace in Afghanistan or an improvement in relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan had been made in the past, the agents of status quo and spoilers of peace – both within and outside Afghanistan – successfully, and very easily sabotaged the efforts. The real challenge will also begin once Taliban sit with the Afghan leadership for a final settlement. That is where all the parties to the conflict and stakeholders need to be vigilant of the spoilers and foil their attempts.