Ghani’s anti-peace posture

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AFGHAN President Ashraf Ghani has fired Foreign Ministry spokesman Sibghatullah Ahmadi for his welcome remarks over Pakistan’s talks with the Taliban. A 12-member Taliban delegation led by its deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar met Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other officials in Islamabad this week, with both sides agreeing on the need to resume the Afghan peace process. President Ghani’s spokesman Sediq Sediqi criticised the development and said that the meeting couldn’t help the peace process.
The development shows serious differences and confusion within the Afghan Government over the crucial issue of what Afghans need to do to secure their future. The move of the Afghan President and remarks of his spokesman are unfortunate as they reflect non-serious attitude in addressing the grave situation that Afghanistan is faced with. The United States and Taliban were close to a peace deal but signing of the pact was disrupted by some events and as a sincere friend of Afghanistan, Pakistan is trying its level best to revive the peace process for the sake of security and progress of Afghan people. Ghani is oblivious of the fact that Pakistan is not providing weapons to Taliban but persuading them to help resolve the longstanding conflict through peaceful means. Therefore, the adverse reaction of the Afghan President is not understandable and it amounts to spoiling atmosphere for peaceful resolution of the problem. Sibghatullah Ahmadi had a point in saying that the Foreign Ministry was the sole implementer of the country’s foreign policy and reflects on the official position of the Afghan government. He also lamented that some individuals within the government are still in electoral campaign mood. Ghani is apparently annoyed as he was almost sidelined by the United States and Taliban during their Qatar rounds of talks but he succeeded in thwarting the final outcome and is now again attempting to prevent resumption of peace process. The posture and strategy of the Afghan President give credence to the wisely-held perception that he wants continuation of the conflict for prolongation of his rule.

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