Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Bonn 2nd - an Extraordinary Opportunity for Reconciliation Process

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Bonn 2nd - an Extraordinary Opportunity for  Reconciliation Process

Fifth December, will be another important event in Afghanistan's history where Afghans and the In ternational Community will get together to mark the 10th anniversary of the decade long war and decide on the fate of the country at very critical times when transition process is ongoing, Afghans have taken responsibility of some provinces in their own hands and on the other hand insurgents are spreading tentacles in different areas of the country.

Bonn 2nd is considered as an extraordinary opportunity for the Afghan government for setting up a clear cut strategy in bringing dissidents in the framework of government. Target killings of the high profile authorities, increase in number of deaths of the international troops, the dramatic increase in strength of the insurgents and violence reaching the worst possible situation shows that no one is invulnerable from the threats of insurgents.

Despite billion of dollars spent, still wracked by thirty years of war, most parts of Afghanistan lies at the mercy of insurgents, narcotics traffickers, militants and various transnational terrorist networks.
Perhaps one of the major failures of the Bonn 1st Conference was its inability to bind the neighboring, regional and other countries that have concerns and stakes in Afghanistan from different aspects.
Afghanistan has been the victim of external meddling and interferences from a long time. It is a theatre upon which various players are playing for pursuing their policies and competing for their interests that in most aspects often clash with each other resulting in more disharmony and conflict.

Peace in Afghanistan is connected to the most complicated and intractable issues in the region, on one hand competition and proxy wars between India and Pakistan while on the other hand U.S. and Iran arch rivalry and similar disharmony of interests among the big powers brings Afghanistan into a worse conditions of real politics.

Pakistan has many concerns regarding the region, she won't agree on any term for building up a majority non-Pashtun Afghan National Army having close relationship with India on their doorstep, its fear of encirclement by India and the growing influence of India in Afghanistan will never alienate it from links with Taliban and militants that serves their interests in Kashmir.
Though apparently Pakistan has had negotiations with Afghanistan regarding the peace process and has assured of any sort of help regarding the process, but tangible outcomes are yet to be evident in this regard.

As Pakistan is still not successful in curbing the militancy, there are major concerns regarding the security situation in the securest of places in Pakistan. Further the Af-Pak relations, which must be strengthened with each passing day so as to find appropriate solution to the issue of terrorism, have been going through a tough time at the moment.

The international community has been bothering about the issue of terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. For them the foremost and primary concern is their national security that according to them is threatened by the terrorist networks stemming from the bordering areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Political settlement with Taliban was much debated in the West; some favoring it while the others showing their concern regarding this process. But one thing is clear that the West has come to the conclusion that military might is not the ultimate solution; something more than that, not merely a military push but a political push especially in reconciliation process is needed.

The U.S. has shown lukewarm enthusiasm in the peace talks. United States has been more cautious in supporting a peace plan and is focusing much on reintegrating disaffected Taliban fighters in Afghan society.

From the contradiction of the statements it is evident that there is a stark difference and lack of coordination among the international community regarding peace talks with Taliban. Afghan government and the allies are not talking of the same language from time to time.

Currently as well Afghan government is stressing on Taliban presence in the Bonn 2nd, while the newly appointed US Ambassador Ryan Crocker recently expressed that militants would have no representation in the Bonn 2nd.

Basically Taliban are divided into various factions and the hard core extremist out of them have the key demand of the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.

While most of the moderate leaders and some that have agreed to peace process are of the view that there are some foreign elements that don't want peace process to be successful. According to Hakim Mujahed, the then Taliban ambassador to the United Nations, many Taliban leaders are willing to talk, actually there is no interest of negotiation from some international countries.

There are various factions in the Taliban movement, majority of which are fighting just for local reasons, like revenge, resentment due to bombardments and civilian casualties, for pecuniary gains, that can be easily diverted and brought back to mainstream civilian life with proper strategy.

Government of Afghanistan is pressing for allowing Taliban representative for attending the Second Bonn Conference under the auspices of the Afghan government.

This will be a pivotal step for the ongoing peace drive efforts and paving way for Taliban to lay down their arms and contribute in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process putting an end to the long decades of violence and fighting.

With growing strength of the insurgents and increasing civilian casualties Afghans are more anxious and skeptical that the West is not committed to their country in the long run, this is what makes Afghans reluctant on the government side. The international community should ensure Afghans that they are committed and want durable and consistent stability in the country and should back the peace and reconciliation process openly.

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