Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

Success of Reconciliation with Taliban

Recently the US Special Envoy for AfPak, Marc Grossman has said that all the insurgent factions in Afghanistan will not join the peace process. He said despite the efforts to reach out for negotiations, there will be people who will never reconcile and they must be defeated militarily.
It's a very realistic public admission of the US Special Envoy about the reconciliation process. Recently there have been reports in the US media about direct US talks with Taliban. Though the so-called Taliban spokesman has denied, there have been such improvements. But it is still limited to the initial talks about talks.

Taliban have intensified their attacks. This week has proved very deadly with dozens of deaths in Khost, Takhar and Kabul. The Taliban Al-Badar operations continue terror, without a single sign of their willingness to ceasefire, if ready for serious talks. Yet also, they have not signaled alienation from Al-Qaeda, about which the speculations were high following the death of Osama bin Laden. They have not only condemned and condoled his death, but also a series of attacks have been launched to avenge Osama's death. This is not show of any willingness or success in the talks.

The process of reconciliation should have limits with those to hold talks. For instance, the Haqqani Network of Taliban is blacklisted by the US, and they are part of Al-Qaeda on ground. Such other elements can never be included in reconciliation.

On the other hand, the international stake holders including the US who are making direct contacts with Taliban should not carry it as a unilateral process. Taliban have not only problem with foreign troops, and the US. Those Afghans who resisted Taliban when they hosted Osama and fought against them in front lines for years are ones who have the most concerns even today.

President Karzai's Peace Council has been making visits and meetings from Maldives to Turkey, during the last couple of months, but nothing has come out of their efforts yet. And this Council certainly do not fully represent all the segments of Afghan society. The anti-Taliban opposition forces are being ignored. Such a process, even if successful in making talks with Taliban and eventually a deal, will not succeed in long-term and instability will always be a concern in Afghanistan, not only for Afghans, but for the region and the international community too.

In reality, the Peace Council has been nothing more than a symbolic body to give face to President Karzai's intra-tribal-like dealing of affairs. If concerns of the anti-Taliban constituency among Afghans are not met, any deals or talks won't bring stability in Afghanistan.