FIFTEEN diplomatic missions and the NATO representa tive in Afghanistan urged the Taliban on Monday to halt their military offensives, just hours after the Taliban and the Afghan government failed to agree on a ceasefire at talks in Doha.
The statement supported by Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the European Union delegation, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Britain and the United States and NATO’s senior civilian representative urged the Taliban to lay down their weapons for good on Eid-ul-Azha and show the world their commitment to the peace process.
The call is nothing but lip service to the cause of peace and security in Afghanistan as these are mostly the same countries that constituted so-called coalition forces that fought the Taliban for about twenty years and miserably failed to move towards the declared objective of establishing durable peace in that country.
Throughout their stay in Afghanistan, they preferred using force and made no worthwhile contribution to the peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Now that the US and coalition troops are leaving the war-torn country, the Taliban are gaining control of territories, apparently to use them as leverage in intra-Afghan dialogue in the face of conspiracies being hatched by some powers to deny them their due share in power.
The demand for laying of arms for good on Eid is unrealistic in the backdrop of no headway in intra-Afghan dialogue and non-cooperative attitude of the Kabul Government that wants to stick to power at all costs.
The world community would be adopting once again a wrong path by putting the entire onus of peace in Afghanistan on the Taliban.
The countries asking the Taliban to surrender are those who tried their level hard to impose a military solution in Afghanistan but miserably failed.
Theirs is, therefore, a hollow demand not supported by the ground realities and is unlikely to be heeded to by the Taliban.
Similarly, it is also unrealistic to ask Pakistan to become the sole guarantor of peace in Afghanistan when other stakeholders are not sincere in finding a just and honest settlement of the conflict.
Pakistan is making constructive efforts for facilitating peace efforts for achieving an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement but the success of these efforts is contingent upon sincerity of the Kabul Government and other stakeholders.