Power sharing is answer

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AS Afghanistan is heading towards another serious crisis, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has once again emphasized that power sharing is the way to avert a civil war in the neighbouring country.

In a statement before the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, he said it was Pakistan’s effort and desire that the war-torn country not plunges into a civil war again.

Afghanistan is nowadays in the sharp focus of the international media because of rapid advances being made by Taliban in their battles against the Government forces throughout the country, raising spectre of return of the Taliban rule to Kabul.

A cursory glance over what happened on Afghan front since February 29, 2020, when the US and the Taliban signed a peace accord in Doha, would make it clear that the trust deficit increased in Afghanistan mainly because of the road-blocks created by the Ghani Government in the implementation of this and the subsequent agreement that the Kabul Government signed with Taliban.

The dilly-dallying tactics used by the Afghan Government sent a negative message to the Taliban that the other side was not sincere in negotiating a political solution to the conflict that is aimed at power sharing.

We have been emphasizing in these columns that the Taliban represent the predominant Pashtoon ethnic group in Afghanistan and, therefore, the objective of durable peace, security and stability would remain an elusive dream if attempts were made to continue sidelining the Taliban.

It is regrettable that there are still some elements that are pursuing the idea of denying the Taliban their share in the system and the latest statement of Indian External Affairs Minister Jaishankar confirms this posturing as he claimed that the legitimacy aspect of who should rule Afghanistan should not be ignored.

The champions of democracy always plead for the right of the majority to rule but here they want to use self-serving yardsticks as to who can or should govern Afghanistan.

Afghan Foreign Minister Muhammad Hanif Atmar has sought Pakistan’s support to end the raging conflict in the country, saying that he hoped Islamabad would persuade the Taliban to return to talks again.

In the first place, Pakistan has limited leverage in the evolving situation, therefore, it would be unfair to expect a reversal of the situation by coaxing the Taliban for talks.

Secondly, there should be demonstrable sincerity for talks and attempts aimed at sidelining the Taliban must end in the greater interest of peace and stability in Afghanistan.

How can talks succeed when the Kabul Government itself is encouraging re-mobilization of militant groups to counter Taliban offensive.

We have before us two decades of minus-Taliban rule in Afghanistan, which did not contribute to the ideal of good governance or welfare for the people and it is time to try a genuine and broader power sharing formula there.

 

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