Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Reduction of Violence and Rejection of Ceasefire

Taliban has agreed on reduction of violence amid signing the agreement about a withdrawal of foreign forces. In order to know what it means for Afghans we shall go through the process and what has been achieved so far.
What has Taliban Gained?
Taliban has been the winner of the peace talks so far; their status from a terrorist group in the perception of the regional countries and international community has changed to a legitimate group that is fighting against those who have occupied Afghanistan and the government of Afghanistan as the agent of the invaders. Their leader travels freely in different countries now. Afghan government in a bid to show its goodwill freed a number of high ranking Taliban leaders including Anas Haqqani. In addition to this, many Taliban commanders and members have freed by government to show the political willingness of Afghan government for reaching a settlement in the long conflict of the country through negotiations.  when Currently, many neighboring countries of Afghanistan consider Taliban as a dominant political and military group that will soon be the main be part of Afghan government. As a result, they try to open negotiations with the group in order to have their support in the future in Afghanistan. The diplomatic initiatives taken by Russia, China, and Iran are the clear examples of such approach. Indeed, Saudi Arabia, United Arabic Emirate and Pakistan as the only three countries which had recognized Taliban regime it took power in 1996 are very satisfied with the new developments and achievements of Taliban.
What has the US achieved?
Considering the presidential elections in the US in 2020, signing a withdrawal agreement between the US and Taliban can be one of the cards that President Trump can play with it to satisfy American voters that he has stuck to his promise on Afghanistan and can have their votes as well. Of course, it will contribute to the reduction of the US casualties and expenditures in Afghanistan. Even, if the US has a contingency plan for Iran, this agreement enables it to implement such plan easier.
What has Pakistan Gained?
Pakistan has been under pressure of the US due to supporting and giving safe havens to the terrorist groups; an issue that Pakistan has always down played it in the past. However, the peace negotiations between the US and Taliban showed that the leaders Taliban are in Quetta and Peshawar of Pakistan. It shows that Pakistan has supported Taliban after 2001 as a strategic tool and ally to gain its strategic goals in Afghanistan and the region. If the United States and Taliban sign the withdrawal agreement without making Taliban to engage in direct talks with the Afghan government, Pakistan not only receive the economic and military supports of the US but it will be able to put Afghan government under pressure to compromise with the Taliban.
What has Afghanistan gained?
Afghan government has achieved nothing from the Afghan peace process yet. It has released Taliban high ranking commandeers and members that have angered many Afghans. However, Taliban neither considers the Afghan government as a legitimate government representing the Afghans and nor is ready to engage in direct talks with it. Afghan government has always emphasized on an Afghan owned and Afghan led peace process that has not been realized yet. Announcement of a one-week reduction in violence by Taliban amid signing a withdrawal agreement with the United States means nothing for the Afghans; they may reduce the violence in Kabul and main cities of Afghanistan and increase their attacks in the other areas that they will continue their operations.
Afghan peace process suffers from lack of national and international consensus. The fact is that the ...