Will Afghan peace efforts deliver?

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, March 6, 2011
Adjust font size:

Amid increasing militancy and muscling by warring sides in Afghanistan, efforts to push for national reconciliation in Afghanistan have been accelerated as representatives of Islamic countries gathered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday and discussed the situation in Afghanistan including the ongoing peace process in the militancy-ridden country.

A statement released by Afghan Foreign Ministry on Friday asserted that Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rasoul and Burhanudin Rabbani, head of government-backed peace commission -- the High Council for Peace, represented Afghanistan at the meeting held at the headquarters of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).

The participants, according to the statement, had expressed support to Afghan government's efforts for peace and reconciliation with the armed oppositions and OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu underlined the organization's role towards peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

President Hamid Karzai during his tour to London admitted Wednesday that talks with Taliban for achieving national reconciliation is underway.

According to British media, Karzai has confirmed both his government and his international partners the United States and Britain are in contact with the Taliban outfit.

In a bid to accelerate Afghan peace process, a delegation of the High Council for Peace, established in September 2010, visited Turkey in February to seek Ankara's support in finding a peaceful solution to Afghan imbroglio. Turkey, according to media reports, expressed readiness to permit Taliban open office in Ankara.

Advisor to President Hamid Karzai on National Security Council Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta reportedly has welcomed Turkish readiness to open Taliban office in its soil, saying opening such office in Turkey would accelerate negotiation process with the armed opponents.

To bolster the peace process, the High Council for Peace, according to reports, is going to take a step ahead and send a delegation to U.S. detention center Guantanamo to secure the release of a top Taliban commander, Mullah Khairullah Khirkhah, who has been held there since 2002.

Meanqwhile, observers are looking with pessimism towards the peace efforts to deliver in near future.

"Taliban will never talk to the Afghan government and rather wants to directly negotiate with the U.S., a demand that is unacceptable to Washington," a Kabul-based Afghan political analyst, Ahmad Sayedi, maintained in talks with Xinhua on Sunday.

He also was of the view that the government-backed High Council for Peace wants Pakistan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to have a lead role in the Afghan peace process while the step would anger India, one of the major contributors to the post-Taliban Afghanistan.

"No peace efforts will deliver unless Pakistan sweeps out Taliban and associated militants from its tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan," Mahmoud Saiqal, a former Afghan diplomat and political analyst observed, according to media reports.

Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal areas bordering Afghanistan have been regarded as safe haven of Taliban and al-Qaida operatives.

Haqqani network -- the military wing of Taliban outfit operating in eastern Afghan provinces and capital city Kabul, according to observers and Afghan officials, have holed up in Pakistan's tribal areas of North Wazirustan.

The U.S. drones attacks have killed dozens of insurgents in Pakistan's tribal areas over the past couple of years.

Meanwhile, Taliban outfit challenging Afghan and over 140,000- strong NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has never shown interest in negotiation, saying no peace talks will be held with the Afghan government in the presence of foreign troops in the country.

Taliban militants, who had bitterly fought with the erstwhile president Burhanudin Rabbani and current head of the High Council for Peace, have already rejected the peace council as a ploy.

Although Taliban outfit has yet to make comment on the recent peace efforts, the group had repeatedly in the past rebuffed at any peace talks offered by the Afghan government, noting there will be no talks with "powerless administration in the presence of occupying foreign troops."

With such perspectives and inflexible stance, bringing Taliban leaders to negotiating table seems extremely difficult if not impossible at least in the near future.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter