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

Bonn-2 Can Go Without Pakistan but Reconciliation Process Won’t

Bonn-2 conference on the future of Afghanistan is to kick off today in the city of Bonn - the former West German capital. The conference is expected to reaffirm the commitment of the international community towards Afghanistan's security and economy after the foreign forces withdraw from here in 2014. The conference coincides with 10th anniversary of Bonn-1 conference held in 2001 that formally (but temporarily) ended the war and prepared the roadmap for the future of Afghanistan.

The Bonn process is credited for many fundamental progresses in Afghanistan: interim government, constitutional law, first presidential and parliamentary election, bringing international financial aids and security assistance to Afghanistan, establishing democracy as basis of political system and improving human rights.

Nonetheless, there are demerits. In Bonn-1, the Taliban were not involved that has had awful outcomes for Afghanistan and the international community up to an extent that the reconciliation process launched by Hamid Karzai administration since the beginning of 2010 has met failure.

The international community and Afghan government realized their mistake – of not involving Taliban in Bonn talks – after nine years. What measure should be taken to lead peace talks with Taliban towards success forms one of the main agendas of today's Bonn conference.

Pakistan – that is deemed to have a pivotal role in bringing the Taliban leadership to the table of negotiation – has boycotted the Bonn conference in reaction to the killing of its 24 soldiers by a NATO airstrike at a check post near Afgh-Pak border. But NATO is not the only party attending the Bonn conference. It is an international conference with representative of about 90 countries participating in it. Pakistan has deprived itself from the Bonn-2 opportunities.

Reportedly, Pakistan has hosted a number of influential leaders of Taliban. Based on that, it demands more roles in the negotiation process with Taliban and seems unhappy with the secret talks of US with Taliban that have been going on since the last year. Although Pakistan is not attending the conference, future of reconciliation process greatly depends on the Pakistani cooperation.