Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Will Today’s Bonn Conference II Shift Afghanistan from War to a Permanent Peace?

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Will Today’s Bonn Conference II Shift Afghanistan from War to a Permanent Peace?

Today the meeting in Bonn is being held to discuss the future of Afghanistan with the presence of 90 delegations with the predicted 1000 participants with the supervision of Afghanistan. The conference will be hosted by the Germany with the presence of the United Nations that will play the best role in this conference. The core aim of this conference is to discuss the three chief objectives of the Afghan nations upon the permanent presence of American troops in Afghanistan to make ways for reconciliation with the Taliban.

With special focus on the civil aspect of the transition process bequeathing the responsibilities to the Afghan government by 2014, long-term engagement of the international community in Afghanistan after 2014 and the political process that should lead to a long-term stabilization of the region.

It is expected that, today's Afghan conference in Bonn will be the most critical and important step towards shifting Afghanistan from fighting to peace talks which is one of the most wanted dreams for the people of Afghanistan.

In fact, the 2001 Bonn agreement is believed by so many as the root cause of current Afghanistan which today caused this country to be steeped in serious crises that needs intensive steps to get rid of. In the Bonn II meeting, ten years on from the first meeting in 2001, representatives of the 90 nations including the international organizations will convene on the former German capital again with a strong vision to repair the damages and losses being brought in the country in the last ten years.

When the first conference was initially drawn up with the presence of representatives from the world, the European diplomats notified against drawing any conclusions from the coincidence of it falling on the tenth anniversary of the first.

Indeed, this would not be the same as Bonn of 2001. It would be just a hard road to go ahead with bold challenges that the people of Afghanistan and the world expect. It would be instead just a stock-taking on the road to 2014 and the transition to Afghan-run security and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Since ever, the current events over the last few months have conspired to raise the level of expectations and hopes resting on Bonn. The Bonn II meeting would be the last hope for the people of Afghanistan to see the government and its allies step into a real fight in rooting out the ongoing crises in the country while the phase out transfer of security responsibilities will be given to the Afghan government after the withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan.

However, by now we all realized the real faces of the world that came up with a claim to fight for justice in order to bring some real changes on the ground for this war effected people who with much hopes from the last day of Taliban's collapse until now are anxiously waiting to see some true changes in their homeland.

Adding that, we can't ignore the fragile progress being brought on the ground after the collapse of Taliban by the US and its allies present in Afghanistan with much devotion for the sack of peace and progress while the rights of other excluded minorities being respected and the criminals are brought to justice.

This time, the chances of success of Bonn conference look quite bleak. Since the Taliban are not willing to come on the reconciliation table unless their demand of U.S forces and its allies withdrawal is completed while on the other hand, Pakistan one of Afghanistan's closest neighboring country that has always been involved in rebuilding Afghanistan has also declined to join the Bonn conference due to the recent NATO deadly military air operations on the frontier check post of Pakistan that left dozens of deaths and injuries. The incident badly hart Washington's effort both to ease a crisis in relations with Islamabad and stabilize the region as it moves to end the decade long war in Afghanistan. This has worsened the relationships between the United States and Pakistan.

Coming to back to Afghanistan, even if the Loya Jirga singes the agreement of US's permanent bases in Afghanistan by excluding the Taliban, its legitimacy would be challenged once the drawdown takes place and powers are bequeathed to the Afghan forces. The Taliban openly ignore the decision being taken by the Loya Jirga recently without their approval and presence.

Adding that, the previous international conferences of London and Istanbul couldn't seem to be a real success, because the Taliban from whom the control of Afghanistan was taken in 2001, were not made part of these conferences including other excluded minorities.

This time again, the conference in Bonn is going to be held without the presence of Taliban which is not going to be working again, because the core aim of this conference is to decide the future of Afghanistan by bringing the Taliban on the negotiation table which is believed by the world's top listed politicians as the only way towards establishing a permanent peace in Afghanistan.

Objectively speaking, in the Conference without the approval of Mullah Omar, any other representatives of the Taliban would not be considered legitimate. Therefore, the Taliban should be made a part of the future discussion in Afghanistan to give legitimacy to the Afghan government, including other Afghan minorities. Their decisions and agreements on peace building in the country are what the Afghan government and the international community both are seeking.

Another side of the problem is the internal scenario of Afghanistan, where there are different tribes rival to each other over the control of political power. The US is paying little attention to the inter-Afghan conflict resolution, and is only focusing on the regional and international levels. It is predictable that without the conciliation of local groups having their loyalties with the Northern Alliance or the Taliban, peace cannot be established in the country.

Above all, the meeting in Bonn is a real challenge towards building peace in Afghanistan and the best solution for a long-term progress in the whole region. Thus, the hosts in Bonn Conference, including the other international authorities should make sure that all the parties of the Afghan society, including other political groups, like civil society and other excluded minorities including women must be the part of Bonn II Conference.

It should be decided by the people's delegates by including all those who think can make a difference in the lives of the people in this country not only by the selected personalities being chosen by the Karzai government.

More importantly, the agenda in Bonn II Conference must seek an open space for the people of Afghanistan so that they would be able to freely discuss the ongoing paralyzing issues of the current government which are the main hurdle towards peace and progress in the region.

This would be the only chance for the people of Afghanistan who have never had to decide the future of their country. And it truly needs those personalities who can bring some true changes in the life of this war affected people.

This time, the aim should not be just to bring the Taliban on the negotiation table, but rather it must seek ways to a permanent peace in the country, this should be based on deciding how Afghanistan will look like after the Bonn II Conference.

Abdul Samad Haidari is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafg hanistan@gmail.com

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