Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, April 18th, 2021

Govt’s Peace Plan: A Road Map For Sustainable Peace

Afghanistan government as the legitimate representative of the people is responsible to take all the necessary measures to ensure their constitutional rights. Afghan Peace talks is a very sensitive and complicated process that requires the Afghan government to play a strategic role in order to ensure a likely peace deal will not end to losing the democratic achievements of the Afghan people and international community. Based on this, Afghanistan government has developed a comprehensive peace plan that was outlined in the ninth Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process conference in Tajikistan by Afghan President Ghani. This plan has three phases:
Making Peace
Peacemaking is faced with a difficult decision when engaging in negotiations to end conflict: In this process the peace makers shall adopt a conflict resolution strategy that seeks to address the fundamental drivers of conflict (root causes).  It should analyze externally facilitated peace negotiations in order to explore the types of issues that needs to be brought into the process, to ask when and why certain issues shall or shall not be considered, and to investigate the effects of the choices that will be in negotiating strategies.
Considering the difficult nature of decision making in the process of peace making the negotiating strategies of the Afghanistan government in this phase includes a ceasefire with international verification, monitoring and articulation of principles to ensure international and regional guarantees for the neutrality of Afghanistan, principles for forming a government of peace-building within the framework of the Constitution with a time-bound mandate culminating in an internationally supervised and monitored presidential election, and a framework on counterterrorism objectives.
Building Peace
Following times of volatility, effective post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building are vital to re-establish political and social stability. This helps guard against a quick slide back into conflict or unfavorable forms of authoritarian rule. Examples from history teach us that disjointed peace agreements can lead to political turmoil. Considering the volatility of this phase, the government of Afghanistan suggests Building peace as the process of forming a government of peace building to be formed by the current elected leadership and the other Afghans who will not be elected in the next election within the framework of the Constitution of Afghanistan.
As the Constitution has built-in mechanisms for amending it is necessary a commission should be formed to implement any amendment to the Constitution. The government of peace building must have a time bound mandate leading to elections that will secure the credibility and legitimacy of the third phase of this process.
This process can facilitate a smooth and peaceful transition to hand over authority to the elected successor of the president. To this end, elections shall be held at the earliest possible time. And international supervision and monitoring could ensure a free fair and inclusive election process.
Sustaining Peace
Sustaining peace encompasses activities aimed at preventing the outbreak,escalation, and recurrence of conflict. Sustaining peace should in practical terms not be distinguished from peacebuilding. Both sustaining peace and peacebuilding are ultimately intended to reduce the risk of lapse or relapse into violent conflict. It can be seen as an aspirational goal, aiming at fostering the ability and capacity to look beyond crisis management and the immediate resolution of conflicts.Considering the above mentioned issues and the ground realities of Afghanistan, the peace plan of Afghanistan includes long-term work of national reconciliation, reintegration of combatants and refugees, defining our new security development and government’s priority. As Afghanistan is on the cusp of both an immense opportunity and immense challenge. Opening Up the Political Space sustains Peace  A sustainable political settlement for Afghanistan is not only about doing a deal with the Taliban. It is about defining a state that Afghans are willing to support. While the actual negotiations should be kept quiet, there needs to be a broad-based consultation of Afghans to establish the parameters of an acceptable settlement. Grievances that are fueling the insurgency—such as corruption, injustice, and marginalization of various tribal and ethnic groups, political actors, economic and business elites, and civil society—are costing the government support. Women’s groups, human rights advocates, and ethnic minorities are concerned that the discrimination and abuse that Afghans experienced under the Taliban regime of the 1990s will return. All these groups need to be sufficiently involved in the process to be able to seek and receive guarantees. In order to ensure a sustainable peace in the country, it is important to reach a political settlement that is widely accepted across all segments of society. Rather than diplomats determining red lines for negotiations on human rights and women’s rights issues, the Afghan public should have a voice in establishing the parameters of an acceptable settlement ahead of any deal with the Taliban. A broad-based consultation that engages Afghans across the country in a debate over the future of their state could, create political pressure for upholding core principles.  Any peace deal must be endorsed by Loya Jirga in order to ensure that the democratic achievements of the people will be preserved.