Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, September 21st, 2018

If Karzai Administration is to Take the Lead

How to reconcile and with whom to reconcile? The government of Afghanistan has been trapped by its own inconsistent policies of the past. President Karzai's changing view on the process peace reconciliation with Taliban has made it difficult for Afghans to know: What is going on? Until, Burhan ud Din Rabbani, the head of High Peace Council was assassinated, Mr. Karzai was blowing the trumpet of calling Taliban as his annoyed brothers.

But after his brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai and Rabbani was assassinated, he admitted to the fact that Taliban are not his annoyed brother but brutal killers and terrorists. Then there was a twist in the peace reconciliation process. Mr. Karzai said he would no more talk to Taliban but instead with Pakistan. Also he thinks, Pakistan is not sincerely cooperating in making the peace process successful, although it hosts a number of important Taliban leaders.

Recently, there have reports in Afghan and international media on establishment of an office for Taliban in Qatar. But Karzai recalled Afghan ambassador in Qatar as he fears that the US is not keeping Afghanistan in picture. Karzai met on Thursday with senior leaders including former Mujahideen commanders, religious figures and top government officials, to discuss the future of talks.

The group agreed that any Taliban office should ideally be in Afghanistan, but if that was not possible, it said, other nations – Turkey or Saudi Arabia - would make a better location than Qatar.

Unfortunately, the Afghan government itself does present any clear and transparent reconciliation strategy. It has continued with an uncertain and ambiguous strategy and its all efforts have gone futile. Despite that, the government of Afghanistan wants to take the lead of negotiation with Taliban. A spokesperson to Karzai's office on Thursday said, "We oppose any kind of negotiations where delegation or delegations of Afghanistan have no leading role and emphasize that any kind of negotiations must be led by Afghans."

If Afghan administration is to take the lead of reconciliation with Taliban, it would need to present a clear strategy of its plans. With an ambiguous policy, its effort will not triumph.