Resumption of Afghan peace talks


THERE appears to be some positive development vis-à-vis
the resumption of stalled Afghan peace process. In recent days both the United States and the Taliban have shown the willingness for re-engagement which indeed is the way forward to achieve peace and stability in the war-torn country.
During a surprise visit to Afghanistan, US President Donald Trump announced the resumption of talks whilst the Taliban the other day also confirmed the resumption of informal talks with the US side in Doha, Qatar. By all means it is a positive development and it is expected that both the sides will move on and engage constructively to thrash out differences that will definitely pave the way to the intra-Afghan dialogue process. To reach that stage, both the sides will have to show seriousness and commitment and no incident whatsoever should be allowed to disrupt once again the dialogue process as anti-peace elements will try their level best to throw the spanner in the works. In September, both the sides appeared to be on the verge of signing a deal that would have seen Washington begin pulling troops out of Afghanistan in return for security guarantees. However, unfortunately President Trump abruptly called the year long effort “dead” and withdrew an invitation to the Taliban to meet in the US due to the killing of an American soldier. Both the parties will have to realize the importance of give and take policy to make the peace process successful and result oriented. Release of an American and Australian hostages by the Taliban in exchange for three high ranking prisoners have brightened the prospects of peace talks. The Afghan people have suffered a lot due to this prolonged war and it is time to give a healing touch to their wounds. One is also encouraged by the very statement of US President Donald Trump that the war in Afghanistan will not be decided on the battlefield but through political solution. This indeed shows his candid assessment of the ground situation and desire for peace in the conflict ridden country. This political solution owned and led by the Afghans should finally make Taliban part of the political process to make it durable and sustainable for lasting peace.