Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, January 21st, 2018

High Expectations From Bonn II

The Bonn II conference is expected to play a pivotal role in the political reconciliation and future course of action in Afghanistan. Afghanistan will lead the conference and has high expectations from it. There has been prognostication on the part of both Afghan and foreign intellectuals that Taliban will be having their representatives in the conference to come to some sort of political compromise with the Afghan government. Afghan government has been talking about the efforts for formulating a reconciliation process with Taliban. High Peace Council has been claiming to have achieved important achievements in making Taliban ready to come to negotiation table. The tangible outcomes are not visible so far or at least they are not made public so far – the second option seems less likely.

In a recent interview for a TV channel, US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker has mentioned that Afghan government has the right to decide whether Taliban are going to participate in Bonn Conference or not. Except for their presence in the Afghan delegation led by Afghan government, there is no room for Taliban to participate in the conference. He has mentioned, "Well, I think it has been very clear.

There is going to be one Afghan delegation and it is going to be led by the government of Afghanistan." If analyzed carefully, Mr. Ambassador seems to be understating the US role in any sort of effort for inviting or urging Taliban for reconciliation process. Definitely, US have been backing the efforts of negotiations with Taliban as they have to withdraw their forces by the end of 2014, while an unstable Afghanistan will definitely urge the world to question the effectiveness of a decade old war and billion of dollars spent for security arrangements and the development of the country.

He has also remarked, "He (the foreign minister) does not exclude that members of the Taliban could be part of that delegation. Depending on how they have done with the higher peace council, but it is a single delegation."

It is clear from the statement that Ryan Crocker does not suggest a separate delegation of Taliban who would be participating in Bonn II conference. Rather, he seems to believe that there would be a single delegation and that would be led by Afghan government, Taliban may be a part of it, but only after they will have reached to certain reconciliation with Afghanistan, through the efforts of Peace High Council.

But after thorough analysis it becomes very much clear that Peace High Council is not in the position to be successful in reaching to certain concurrence with Taliban before the Bonn II. Taliban on the other hand have been denying the reconciliation process as well.

There have been differences of thoughts and ambiguities in the way towards Bonn II. It seems that the conference will not be able to come up to the expectations of so many people. This clearly suggests that either the expectations are unrealistic or the preparations are not up to the mark; or even both can stand true at the same time.