Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, December 14th, 2018

14 Taliban Members Excluded from UN Blacklist

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14 Taliban Members  Excluded from UN Blacklist

The names of 14 Taliban leaders who had been blacklisted are now excluded from the list maintained by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). It means now they are free of the travel bans and asset freezes. This particular step has been taken to pave the way for political solution of the conflicts existing in the region. The Afghan Government and U.S. have been striving for the last two years or so for some sort of political compromise with the Taliban before the foreign troops withdraw their forces from Afghanistan.

Afghan government in this regard has been emphasizing UN for a review of the blacklist, which in its consideration can prove to be a vital step for peace process. Though the government has been demanding for the exclusion of the names of 50 Taliban leaders from the UN blacklist, which includes the names of four current members of High Peace Council, the current announcement only includes 14 members. The UN blacklist was established in 1999 under UN Resolution 1267, during the rule of Taliban in Afghanistan.

There are 200 members of Al Qaeda and 130 members of the Taliban on the blacklist. Before Friday, July 15 only 15 Taliban had been removed from the list over the past six years, 10 of them last year. The Taliban deputy minister of higher education, Mullah Arsala Rahmani; the Taliban ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Habibullah Fawzi; the Taliban deputy minister of mines, Syed Rahman Haqqani; and another Taliban official, Faqir Mohammad, were included among the 14 officials removed from this list, the statement said. The remaining names were not disclosed. Will this particular step assist the peace process is difficult to say as so far the efforts in this regard have failed to bear fruits.

To ascertain lasting peace in the region the government of Afghanistan, U.S. and European allies in war against terrorism have been trying to bring the Taliban leaders to negotiation table. President Kerzai in this regard seems very much involved. He considers political compromises with Taliban as a key factor for tranquility in the country. The Peace High Council was established for the same purpose. Though there have been much concentration and budget being put for this Council, it is yet to display appreciable outcomes.

President Kerzai in this regard has visited the neighboring Pakistan along with the Council to gain support from Pakistan, regarding the peace process in the region. Apart from that the Council has made various foreign visits to have meetings with the Taliban leaders. Kerzai himself has been so much desperate that he has been calling Taliban as the "Angry brothers" but Taliban do not seem to be in the mood to negotiate with him. They have even intensified their operations and have been able to target many precious lives.

In their summer offensive they have been able to target some of the important personalities in Afghan security forces and politics. Among them the names of Dawood Dawood, Jawad Zahak and President's own brother Ahmed Wali Kerzai are the dominant ones. Taliban have not formally announced their any sort of meeting with U.S. authorities or with Peace High Council, rather they have been calling it impossible with the presence of foreign troops on Afghan land and they have been calling the current Afghan government as a puppet government which does not have authority of its own and does everything as the foreigners dictate.

In short, the reaction of Taliban does not seem much inclined towards the peace offers by Peace High Council or the U.S. rather they have recently replied the offers with the attack on one of the most prominent hotels in the capital Kabul and by targeting Ahmed Wali Kerzai.

The situation in Afghanistan has been considered very fragile as it has been going through a transition period. The transitions in social and political phenomena have always been complex, fragile and marked with quick changes. The decisions during such periods stand very important, and they can have immense effects on the future consequences.

Therefore, all the decisions must be taken with great care and cogitation. Currently, the withdrawal of 30,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of the next year has been the matter of great concern for every one who is interested in the future of Afghanistan and its capability to counter terrorism and guarantee a secure society for the Afghan people.

On the other hand there are concerns that the country must not turn into a nourishing ground for terrorists. Definitely, the best possibility for lasting peace in the region can not be guaranteed militarily. There have to be political patch ups and strategies to make the Afghan people govern themselves. They can not depend on the foreign support for indefinite period of time. A proper political strategy has to follow the military gains, which otherwise may end without desired outcomes.

Any political compromise with the Taliban must have some basic considerations as a top priority. The suggestions made by the Afghan government for the peace talks with Taliban should not be so humble that they should be considered as the weakness of the government, which is really happening at the moment. Moreover, the list of the names excluded from the UN blacklist must be made evident to all the political parties and groups in the country and they must not include the names of those who can afterwards join the offensive movement of Taliban, instead of participating in peace process.

Further, the peace process must include all the representatives from all the major political parties and ethnic groups, so that every one must be involved in the process. Another important factor must be kept in mind that the Taliban participation in the Afghan political scene must not overwhelm the moderate thinking and the democratic setup of the government. Taliban should, through a proper political setup, be compensated in the regions they dominate and where they are favored by the people.

Afghanistan is a kind of country that can only afford to have a moderate political system as it is a multi-ethnic state. After a lot of sacrifices and a war of almost ten years they have been able to stand on such a track that can lead them to such a system. Carelessness at this stage can prove very costly for the country. Therefore, both the Afghan government and international community must make sure that the extremist and fundamentalists must not be given more importance than the moderates.

Dilawar Sherzai is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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