Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

Best Time for Af-Pak Negotiations

The peace talks with Taliban have stopped, Karzai said about a month ago, but its advertisements are still running on Afghan televisions. That should be because of the contract duration for the advertisement has not come to an end and TV channels are compelled to broadcast such advertisements. Nonetheless, the continuation of publicizing peace with Taliban signals that the dream of President Karzai, to discuss peace face to face with Mullah Omar, came to an end before he was expecting it.

The assassination of Burhan-ud-Din Rabbani, the Head of High Peace Council, last month deeply impacted the peace process. With his death, hopes to bring the Taliban to the table of negotiation also broke into pieces, although each time Karzai talked about involving Taliban in negotiation process, he seemed quite optimistic.

The discussions about peace reconciliation program have also cooled down in media and elsewhere and government authorities who were administrating this program are mum. But their silence is expected to break as soon as the Presidential Palace puts forward the other options, which they have been pondering upon, of ending the Afghan war through a political way.

Karzai has already given indications. The next option is talking peace with the government of Pakistan. That is a rational decision. At least the Afghan government will know who it is talking with. But has Karzai asked Pakistan? Is Pakistan in a condition to talk with the Afghan government?

It is noteworthy to mention here that Pakistan also backed the peace reconciliation program. Pakistani authorities have maintained since long that a peaceful Afghanistan is in the best interest of their country. And there is no doubt that in that.

Peace in Afghanistan will definitely help the security improve in the region and beyond. But in the last ten years, Afghanistan has received not genuine support from Pakistan that could have altered the situation here towards betterment.

If Pakistan, as its authorities exhibit, is highly interested in a stable Afghanistan, this is the best time for cooperation in this regard. That is because the Karzai administration is keenly willing to negotiate with the government of Pakistan after losing hope in his peace reconciliation program.