Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, May 29th, 2020

Challenges on the Road to Peace - in Afghanistan.

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Challenges on the Road to  Peace - in Afghanistan.

Signing the “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” between the US and the Taliban inserted hope of peace coming to many broken hearts, forgotten and marginalized people across the country.  Discussions about social and political cohesion, integration and solidarity currently shape the public discourse of Afghan elites. However, after passing a few days’ different questions and interpretations heard from the four peace relevant corners: The Afghan government, the neighboring countries, the US and the Taliban.  Hence, it draws our attention to know “What is going on behind the curtain?”  The fact is there are some new challenges created on the road to peace. 
First challenge is the government division: The Afghan government is divided against itself, after the Independent Election Commission announced President Ashraf Ghani as the winner of September 28 presidential election. The National Unity Government divided in between the Arg and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. The division has placed a negative impact on the rule of law and public service. At consequence, the stability situation is going to worst.  The government is losing its trust and authority and the bad state of affairs made citizens become upset and non-supportive.  Afghanistan is one of the countries where people mistrust each other – social trust and political trust is very low.  For citizens become more educated, their expectations of the government performance have risen up more. On the other hand, a high level of trust in government can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations. Remembering that citizen expectations are key to their trust in government.   As Abraham Lincoln stated on June 16, 1858 for American People: “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.” Division is not a good news for the present government.  Therefor they must re-think, come together, and put step forward on the bases of national interests. The US withdrawal its troop from Afghanistan in a time that the country has a fragile situation. Lacked of institutions of a working government. Nothing have done on the issues of state building and nation building which were the macro-goal of invasion is remained so today. The election crisis not resolved.  Afghan force losing the international air support on the battlefield. Leaving Afghanistan with a lot of challenges and disorders is not a good decision. If the world continuous like this behavior, it indicates that the next phase of the bloodiest days are waiting for our country.  At result, the Taliban is using from the situation in their favor. The existing gap is projecting the weakness of the government in society. Afghan elites must stop shamefulness behavior, look back to the years of 1990s learn some lessons and do not repeat the past mistakes again. 
Second challenge is the prisoners swap: the government is not interested to release the Taliban prisoners before the intra-Afghan talks launch while it is a pre - condition of Taliban for beginning intra-Afghan talks. People do not know why the government create excuses. Following the issue of war crime justice is not in the interest of Afghanistan right now. Though, strengthening the rule of law was an important objective for citizens and civil society organizations across the country from 2001 until present. But, to be rational, strengthening the rule of law requires clarity about the fundamental features of the rule of law as well as a sound methodology for its evaluation and measurement. Regarding war crime, and access to justice the fact is, it is too complicated in the context of Afghanistan, as well as it is too early to predict, establishing a criminal justice system in the country.  Because it needs a set of legal and social institutions for enforcing the criminal law in accordance with defined set of procedural rules and limitations – Afghanistan is lacked of all. The local power officials still control significant regions beyond the Taliban. Forgiveness is the only option expected from all war victims families. Thus, the ideal view is to say that investigation would not be in the interest of justice in Afghanistan now.
Legitimacy is the third challenge: The Taliban groups do not recognize the Afghan elected government as legitimate; they want to change everything from the first step. They are realizing themselves on higher position, more powerful and supportive than any time now.  From another hand, they are listening to their masters, supporters who are the source of the group’s power, particularly to the neighboring countries. For the reason, the Taliban rejected the result of presidential election stated that, it is a fake and symbolic election happened to serve for foreign countries interest. In addition, the neighboring country interpret the “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” completely in the favor of Taliban.  Insist on the swap of the Taliban prisoners. Encourage implicitly the Taliban to resume more violence and fighting against the Afghan national security force. According to BBC Taliban, threaten 70% territory in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the surrounding governments still look at Afghanistan as their goods market; they do not want a developed and self-governed Afghanistan in the future as well. Surely, it as a factor of lasting long fighting and violence in the country too. Nevertheless, today openness and cooperation with regional power, specially neighboring countries offer the best prospect for security and economic progress for Afghanistan. Conversely, the region’s political stability and economic potential are broadly influenced by the ability of post-conflict Afghanistan to succeed in its recovery.
As a conclusion, the country is in an important period of its history today. The government and all political elites must realize the need for peace - press their hands for making a new prospered Afghanistan where the right of each Afghan is respected, and create a situation that everybody attributes in the economy and society. Generate an atmosphere that people regard and trust each other as well their leaders and government. On the other hand, as a proverb says,” When a jungle gets fire - then wet and dried parts would burn”.  If the powerful officials lose the opportunity, the lack of cohesion encourage the Taliban to attack and would pursued them to continue violent  manner more and more, until control the districts and provinces, that would be the end of the story in Afghanistan - blocking the way to return back.

Dawlat Bakhtiariis the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmai.com

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