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

Taliban – Not Ready to Negotiate

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Taliban – Not Ready  to Negotiate

The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating with each passing day. Taliban, with their new strategy and summer fiesta are really turning considerably violent. On Saturday June 18, 2011 when President Hamid Kerzai has formally announced that Afghanistan and America have been engaged in negotiations with the Taliban leaders for maintaining tranquility in the region, Afghanistan Capital, Kabul, has been hit by the terrorists. The incident involved four terrorists armed with AK47's and suicide vests. They attacked a police headquarter on Pul-e-BaghiAmomi, killing three policemen, five civilians and one intelligence agent and wounding two policemen and ten civilians. From the first day since there have been gossips of Afghan Government's initiative for bringing Taliban to the table, there has not been obvious outcomes of the initiative in the form of improving circumstances rather the country has witnessed more threatening assaults by the terrorists.

Afghan government with its allies have been repeatedly emphasizing that they have the potential to reach a peaceful solution to the issue of Terrorism in the region. There have been evident examples of the fact that they are interested in negotiating with Taliban. There are even possibilities that Taliban are brought to the Bonn Conference for the same purpose. Further, there have been reports of Americans searching for the top leaders of Taliban both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, who can serve as the true representatives of their side for the talks. President Karzai's visit to Pakistan early this month was also an attempt in the same regard. He, through his visit wanted to have full co-operation of Pakistan for peaceful negotiations with Taliban, as the issue of Talibanization is not limited to Afghanistan. Pakistan agreed to provide the co-operation as it has been suffering in this regard as well, with the presence of terror networks in most of the its parts spreading near the borders of Afghanistan. Taliban around the Pak-Afghan border are actually a threat for both the countries because they can easily manage to cross the border illegally and thus, keep on switching their operational locations, further complicating the endeavors to counter them. Moreover, they are interwoven in complex webs which make them very difficult to comprehend. They are divided into many factions with different objectives and it is not easy to discover a unity of command among them.

Different factions on different occasions have different enemies. There are some that are against Pakistani government and some others that are against the presence of US-led International forces in Afghanistan. Even within a single faction there are groups performing very much independently of mother faction. This phenomenon really makes the task of tracking true representatives of the different factions much difficult. Afghanistan and Pakistan, though have agreed to peaceful negotiations with Taliban, will have to exert their best to be focused on with the relevant leadership and they will be facing the trouble of dealing with the clashes of the different factions as well. Agreements must be reached through a consensus of the national interests of both the countries and varying interest of different factions, which if not impossible is really difficult.

The complications involved in bringing Taliban to the negotiation table seem to be growing with the efforts of the government and its allies to overcome them. Afghanistan has already been through much loss in the ongoing year. Many precious lives, including very important ones for the process of peace and tranquility in the region have been victimized. The assurances of the security arrangements are turning fake for the people and they are losing trust from the government and it is really turning difficult for the President Karzai to satisfy the serious minds that government and its allies are really doing something worthwhile in their efforts for reaching to any sort of resolution with Taliban. The efforts in the form of Peace Council and very serious visit to Pakistan are believed to be ostentatious along with the celebration of the success of the outcomes, and the realities seem to be dodging them cleverly and exposing the real outcome of their success to the public. The intensifying terror attacks clearly depict that either government along with its allies are not able to reach the exact concerning leadership or they are being fooled by the Taliban. Or the third possibility is, "They are lying".

If the government, its Peace Council and its true ally – America are not able to reach the real leadership of the terrorists operating so effectively in the country, which is the most probable reason of their failure, they really have to do a proper homework in order to be able to do so. They have to understand how the terror networks operate. They really have to go very deep in them and must understand the interactions of the individuals with different factions, along with the possible motives. Negotiating with the ones who do not have any sort of control over the terrorist networks in the region is a real waste of time and resources. The country on the verge of transition cannot afford further delays and careless attempts. It is not the time for experiments because they cost human lives. The important thing is not to have negotiations and reach to quick agreements so as to get rid of the situation as quickly as possible, rather it is to dig out the actual threads and connections and find the true leadership, if there is any, and negotiate with it. It must not happen that there have been discussions and at the end it comes out that the person they have been negotiating with is a shopkeeper, not a Taliban link.

Infact, it is what everyone wants to hear that Taliban stop terrorist activities, obey the constitution of the country and start living a normal life. And the country must be self sufficient not only in terms of security but in political and economic terms as well, but for that the best possible alternatives must be opted, with least possible loss of precious lives. The ideal should always be strived for but in the process the real should never be misunderstood as the ideal.There must be negotiations with Taliban but the first pre-condition of any sort of negotiation with them should be a break in the terrorist activities. Leniency on the part of government and her allies alone can only give the terrorists leakages to take advantage of; that is what they have been doing for the last few months.

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

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