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

Peace Should Not Be Imposed

If regional and global stakeholders put all their weight behind the Afghan peace process, hope for peace is likely to emerge in public air. Afghans have still concerns and fear that the Taliban group will be given great concessions notwithstanding their acts of violence and killing for more than two decades. The post-deal political structure and the reintegration of the Taliban into the system will be controversial.
It is self-explanatory that the peace and reconciliation process has been a rocky road with many ifs and buts. The Taliban seek concessions and the United States appears to be willing to give concessions to the group similar to that of the Trump administration. This fact is ignored that giving concessions to the Taliban will narrow the room for democracy, constitutional principles, women’s rights and freedoms, etc. Meanwhile, if the Taliban are given the lion’s share in the future administration, peace and stability will remain fragile.
The United States and regional and global stakeholders have to consider and observe three facts for sustainable peace. First, the Taliban have to declare ceasefire and reduce violence, which is a precondition for reaching agreement.
Second, the Taliban group has to disband itself. Since the Taliban leaders will be integrated into the system, establishing a parallel military group, besides the Afghan National Army, is neither necessary nor acceptable. The Taliban outfit has to demilitarize itself and their rank and file should be disarmed. That is, if the Taliban maintain their military forces, the threat for war will loom large and the Taliban leaders will continue using force and violence whenever they will.
Furthermore, the Afghan ordinary people will lose their peace of mind. In short, if the Taliban military force is not disarmed and disbanded, there will be always possibility for civil unrest and there will be no guarantees. It is important to note that maintaining a military force after integration into the system does not make sense.
Third, the principles of Afghanistan’s Constitution has to be observed in the peace agreement. That is to say, peace agreement should be signed within the framework of the Constitution. Signing an agreement at the cost of people’s rights and freedoms or constitutional principles and democratic values will be a strong blow to all the progress made in the last couple of decades and will undo all the gains and sacrifices made in the past. Backpedaling will be a great loss and is unlikely to lead to a sustainable peace. 
Peace must not be imposed from outside. The Afghan government hopes that regional and global stakeholders deal with the peace process with patience and help Afghanistan resolve its challenges once for all.
Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said in this week Heart of Asia Process in Dushanbe that peace in Afghanistan will lead to peace and stability in the region and beyond, adding that the current violence is against the will of the public. He said, “We envision three phases to this passage: making, building and sustaining peace, focused on achieving the agreed upon end state of a sovereign, democratic, united, neutral and connected Afghanistan.”
Ghani reiterated that peace agreement with the Taliban needs to be endorsed by the Afghan Loya Jirga (Grand National Assembly), which will add legitimacy to the agreement.
Considering the abovementioned facts, regional and global stakeholders have to consider all aspects of the process and avoid haste.
The international community has to guarantee the peace agreement and the United Nations, the US and all regional and global stakeholders have to pressure the Taliban group to disarm and disband itself so as to be reintegrated into the system.
The efforts made by Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and regional and global actors carry heavy significance for Afghanistan.
Both the state and nation appreciate the efforts made in this regard and believe that all stakeholders, almost without exception, play highly crucial role in the talks.
All Afghans unanimously agree on the three issues as mentioned including declaration of ceasefire, disbandment of the Taliban’s military group, and maintaining of the constitutional principles such as the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens and non-discriminatory principle.
The sincere and active support of the regional and global actors and their pressure on the Taliban for exercising goodwill and reducing violence are crucial to the process. It is hoped that globally sincere cooperation will continue in this regard and the Taliban and the Afghan government reach a peace agreement endorsed by the Loya Jirga and agreed by the people. In short, the representatives of the people have to be consulted about the content of the agreement.