Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Talk about Talks

With the death of Prof. Burhan ud din Rabbani there have been indications that the peace process with the Taliban is going to end without any tangible solution, but the recent statements from Masoom Stanekzai clearly show that High Peace Council (HPC) has not been disappointed yet and really wants to restart negotiations with Taliban. Masoom Stanekzai, who runs the secretariat of Afghanistan's HPC and has recovered from injuries that were caused to him because of the bomb blast that killed Burhan ud din Rabbani as he was standing beside him when the incident happened has mentioned that "There is no alternative to peace" and negotiations with Taliban is the only way out and it will be soon resumed after Burhan ud din Rabbani's successor is chosen and Taliban established their political office somewhere.

He has mentioned, "(The insurgents) should talk from a clear address. They can't say we are here and there, somewhere hiding, when nobody clearly understands whether (the person they are negotiating with) is an authorized representative or just someone who is being hired by a spy agency, doing something to prolong the conflict."

It is not yet clear how the Taliban are going to respond to this invitation, but earlier they have paid no proper respect and attention to what HPC had said. In response to peace negotiations they have mostly responded in violent ways and have made it clear that they will not talk with a 'puppet government' and its 'western allies'.

Though in this regard president went to the extent of calling Taliban as "Angry Brothers"; however, they were not convinced even by such 'sweet tongue and soft tone'. President Karzai after the death of Burhan ud din Rabbani made it clear that negotiations with Taliban would not have any meaning and it would be better to talk with Pakistan directly suggesting that Pakistan's spy agency was involved in the killing of Rabbani and Afghan officials have been striving for an investigation in this regard as they think that the plot for Rabbani's murder was made in Quetta.

Pakistan, after the talks with Afghanistan in Turkey, has agreed for a joint investigation and has ensured of support in this regard.

Few months earlier there were indications that Taliban would be a part of Bonn II conference in Germany that is going to be held next month, but now it seems very much difficult that they can be a part of the conference.

Even if it is urgently managed that some of Taliban leaders are brought in the conference in order to show the world, there would not be any important decision made and the issues will remain intact. Definitely, the Conference can make some contribution regarding the future development in Afghanistan but it would not be able to mark any difference in the peace process with Taliban as the preparations are not made the way they had to be.

It is really important that Afghan authorities and its international allies must seek reconciliation process with Taliban for lasting solution in Afghanistan but at the same time they must not let the Taliban take advantage of their soft tone.

Moreover, they must strive to reach the relevant people, must be practical and must not waste much time in talking about talks. Afghan people have been suffering much because of terrorism and poor political and economic conditions, it is now time they should be provided tangible solutions that can really heal their wounds and can make them breathe some comfort after a long period of instability and disorder. Unfortunately, our leaders have nothing else to offer them except 'talk about talks'.