Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, November 22nd, 2019

How Afghanistan Can Ensure its National Interests in the Peace Talks

Nearly all previous U.S. administrations had rejected repeated Taliban demands to hold direct talks with Washington, saying they should be talking to their own government. The Taliban calls the Kabul government a U.S. “puppet. But, Trump’s administration accepted to engage in direct talks with Taliban, when full war strategy and silent diplomacy did not result to fruition. During his presidential campaigns, President Trump had described the Afghan war as a “total disaster” and had vowed to bring home U.S. forces. 
As a result, the US started direct talks with Taliban, who have been backed by Pakistan from the Time the group was formed. Indeed, concerns about Pakistan involvement in the peace process are frank. No one can deny the influence that Pakistan enjoys over the Taliban. Many Afghans hold that these meetings could never have been possible without Pakistan’s pressure, and now the Pakistani army is even claiming that openly. It makes sense if Afghans remain apprehensive about Pakistan’s role in the negotiations; because they fFfear that the neighboring country may try to exert influence to determine the outcome of talks that may compromise the national interests of Afghanistan. 
As a consequence Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish, who addressed a conference on Introduction of Government’s Communication Plan for the next solar year, said peace should not be an excuse for sacrificing the past 18 years’ achievements. And top member of Harasat and Sabat council of Afghanistan Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyef has insisted that officials from Afghanistan side should significantly consider the National interests, respecting the values of Afghanistan’s constitution, and halting of war for ever which discussing Afghanistan’s peace and stability in quartet peace talks process in Islamabad. In addition to this, President Ashraf Ghani has said, he wanted peace from the strength of the country, not weakness, a transparent and clear peace not a hidden deal, peace with protecting Afghanistan’s achievements.
How Afghanistan Can Ensure a Fair Peace Deal
According to Khalilzad, Afghanistan needs a team where government’s leadership is respected and at the same time, the participation of other political elements is ensured as a must. Afghan citizens must support a peace talk’s process that can end war and observe the National interests of Afghanistan, including 18-year achievements, sovereignty and Afghanistan’s independence should be considered in the process. What is amazing is that, though Afghan politicians have deep differences on many political issues in the country, they all insist on having a unified voice in the talks in order to abide by the redlines identified for the peace talks by The newly-established Reconciliation Leadership Council.
Peace talks are one of the most vital processes for Afghanistan. The negotiators play a strategic role to ensure a fair deal to be accepted by all Afghans. Any deal will shape the future of the country and coming generations. Therefore, Afghan leaders must put the national interests of the country first in order to have a durable and dignified peace.