With the peace process being pushed by Afghan government, Taliban gave the fiercest response to the peace initiative on Tuesday. Following so many high profile assassinations by Taliban militants in recent months, Chief of Afghan High Peace Council (HPC), Burhanuddin Rabbani, was killed in a bomb attack at his home. Head of Peace Council Secretariat, Masoum Stanekzai was also seriously wounded in the attack.
The man who led President Karzai's peace initiative finally fell victim to Taliban terrorism. Taliban have frequently called President Karzai's offer for peace with them as gobbledygook. On his trip to New York, he, once more, heard the very loud sound of his "brothers'" response to his kind offer.
Following his HPC head's murder, Karzai immediately left for Afghanistan to address the issue. However, he can't do anything more than issuing a statement on his death. Since the very first days in power, President Karzai has been stressing the need for reconciliation with militants. He has strongly supported peace talks with those who he calls his dissident brothers but who have strictly rebuffed his generous offer for peace.
The late professor Rabbani was a highly influential figure, not only among Tajiks but also among other ethnic groups in Afghanistan. He served as president of Afghanistan during Mujahedeen rule until he was unseated by Taliban in 1996.
Rabbani was a renowned Jihadi leader who could aptly serve the purpose of peace negotiation with Taliban. As head of HPC, Burhanuddin Rabbani launched extensive struggles to reach out to Taliban leaders for peace talks.
However, his assassination demonstrated absolute failure of the process and futility of the widespread efforts to pacify militants. His death will bring significant implications in the long standing peace process. With his death, President Karzai administration has lost a powerful figure that could help it negotiate with extremist militants. Rabbani's murder which is a big blow to the government is conversely a huge win for the Taliban.
Afghan nation remembers the very sad days under Taliban rule and their ongoing brutal attacks across the country and clearly understands that a weaker position in talks with them will lead to an absolute devastation of what was built up.
The internationally-backed peace process that is run by Afghan government is actually questioned in principle. Taliban have been strengthening their position, defying their mercenaries and reorganizing plans and operations outside and inside the country during long period they have been enjoying safe havens in Pakistani tribal belt and across Afghan border with Pakistan.
While, at the same time, NATO operations reduced against militants in order not to violate President Karzai's peaceful approach towards whom he called the good guys.
It is high time the president understand they are the bad guys and should be dealt with according to their logic of violence. The peace endeavors made so far have proved ineffective and will lead to nowhere in future.
The reconciliation process has failed because of Taliban's rigidity. Other than militants who are busy in hardcore fighting against afghan government and NATO forces, annals show us clearly how double-faced and unreliable are the Taliban members who have joined the peace process.
Several violent attacks were carried out by militants who apparently reconciled with Karzai government. Likewise, Tuesday's attack is also thought to have been carried out by the two Taliban members who went to see Mr. Rabbani.
An offer that is, in principle, made from a weaker position and for the wrong address will never meet its objectives. President Karzai administration has been doing too much diplomacy with armed stubborn extremists who believe in violence as their sacred mission and have sufficiently expressed unwillingness to embrace peace.
To save the nation, the Afghan government needs to immediately embark on some practical steps to revert the course of happenings. Or else, the current naïve policies and practices will push the country to nose-dive.