Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Peace Process: Perplexing & Contradictory

In experts' view, Taliban and negotiations are as different as cheese and chalk. The same is being observed practically, as we hear contradictory news about negotiation with the insurgents on daily basis. The Afghan government last year started negotiation with a man who called himself the representative of Taliban's Quetta Shura. But as talks moved ahead and the man received due benefits - that the President Karzai has considered for Taliban leaders coming to talk with his administration - he disappeared.

Later it was found that he was a shopkeeper from Quetta and not the representative of Taliban's Shura. What a trick? Taliban always becomes successful to cheat the government of Afghanistan. That is because there are still people in government who are sympathetic to Taliban.

The story does not finish only with a shopkeeper deceiving our government. There have been reports of US directly talking peace deal with Taliban leaders. It was not only confirmed by Taliban themselves but also by High Peace Council initiated by Hamid Karzai to facilitate talks with insurgents. Former Secretary to Mullah Omar, Tayyab Agha was involved in the talks. But it is months that he has also - like the shopkeeper - disappeared. The secret details of talks with Taliban in Berlin and Qatar have been exposed and the direct negotiation of West with Taliban is now deemed unsuccessful.

Recently the Afghan media quoted a Taliban leader as saying, "Taliban who are inside Afghanistan have not problems to talk peace with government but Taliban living abroad are puppet and are the real obstacles to start negotiation." The same leader maintains that the Taliban have been split into two groups. One wants to negotiate and the other denies talking. At the same time, an Afghan female MP emphasizes that Mullah Omar is her guest and if the government guarantees his safety, she will present him before the public and government can directly talk with Taliban's supreme leader in Kabul.

Taliban have denied negotiating with what it calls a puppet government. This is what can be accepted a general truth and has been proved as Taliban continues practicing the worst form of violence currently. All other claims and reports about peace talks are quite perplexing for people to understand because of being so contradictory.