Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, September 16th, 2019

How to Avoid the Worst Scenario in Afghanistan

The 9th round of the US-Taliban peace talks is underway in Qatari capital. According to the political analysts, they will soon reach a deal; based on this deal the two sides will end the war in Afghanistan, the longest war of the US. After that, the Intra-Afghan talks will start in Oslo of Norway. It is expected that in the Oslo talks representatives of the Afghan government, Afghan political parties, Civil Society Organizations and Taliban will take part to discuss the future of the country. The Intra-Afghan discussions are the most crucial phase of the Afghan peace talks. Afghan representatives will decide about future of the country; it means that a fair deal between the Afghan government and Taliban can protect the current constitution, religious, ethnic and gender basic rights in Afghanistan. To achieve this, we need to form a strong negotiations team who is committed to the Afghanistan national interests, believes in democratic values and considers the basic rights of the citizen as a redline of the talks.
Role of the US and International Community in the Intra-Afghan talks
It seems that the US and international community will act as mediators. They will pave the way for Intra-Afghan talks and will accept any decision they may make about the type of government and other Afghan internal issues; it means that democracy is not an issue for the US and international community in Afghanistan anymore. The US will not act as a close Afghan strategic partner in the Intra-Afghan talks. It is evident that the US and its allies have come to Afghanistan for their security concerns, not to institutionalize democracy in the country.
Role of Afghan Media in Protecting Democratic Values
Afghan media can play a vital role in democracy only if there is an enabling environment that allows them to do so. They shall improve their skills and take the risks for the kind of in-depth reporting that a new democracy requires. Afghan Media independence shall be guaranteed and it requires media organizations to be financially viable, free from intervention of media owners and the state, and operate in a competitive environment. Afghan media should also be accessible to as wide a segment of society as possible. All Efforts to help the Afghan media should be directed toward: the protection of press rights, enhancing media accountability, building media capacity and democratizing media access. Considering Taliban’s background in terms of freedom of speech, Afghan media will be both the main front of war against fundamentalism and deepening democracy in the country.
The Worst Scenario likely if we are not vigilant
If we analyze the military and political behavior of Taliban, we would conclude that the group neither has changed its military nor its political behavior. They continue torching the schools, especially girls’ schools, lashing women, killing innocent people, attacking mosques and other public areas and cooperating with other terrorist groups. In terms of political behavior, they insist on Emirate system and oppose the republicanism. Many political observers believe that, a peace deal with the US is a tactical approach of Taliban. They do this deal to make the US leave Afghanistan. However, they will gradually try resume fighting with other Afghan factions to capture all parts of the country. Considering the background of Afghan political parties deals, there is nearly no deal that has lasted for a long time. Peshawar agreement in 1992 is one of the good examples of such agreements. Afghan political leaders agreed on a road map in Peshawar; however, it was broken soon and Kabul was destroyed by them.
The US and Afghan peace talks will soon lead to an agreement between the two parties. What matters now for the US is reaching a deal that guarantees Taliban will prevent other terrorist groups to attack the US and its allies’ national interests. The issue of democracy is not a matter of concern for the US and its allies in Afghanistan anymore. Then, the Intra-Afghan talks will start with the participation of the Afghan government, political leaders and Civil Society Organizations. Now, defending the republicanism and democratic values is the duty of Afghanistan delegation. It depends to this delegation how it acts in a unified manner against the Taliban in order to preserve and protect the democratic values that can ensure a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.