Peace talks the best solution

Monday, 24 October 2016 03:51 Written by  Heart of asia Read 284 times

Peace remains a top priority for Afghans after decades of conflict. All Afghans, excluding a few cliques who benefit from and have vested interests in the ongoing conflict, are against the continuation of the war. Virtually every single family in Afghanistan has lost one or two members over the last four decades, even with some families being either completely wiped out or have had only one of their members left alive as a result of the war.

Besides the human toll, the conflict has caused hundreds of billions of dollars in losses to Afghanistan, a country which was once considered a competitor to its neighboring countries in terms of economic infrastructure; however, the war ravaged everything, and now the country is run by foreign assistance. The country’s reliance on foreign aid will continue at least until 2024. The low capacities of governments, corruption and some other challenges can perhaps also be blamed for these adversities, but the major factor is the continuation of the conflict.
Although the international community injected a colossal amount of money into the country following the ouster of the Taliban, it did not really improve the lives of Afghans because most of the funds were wasted and embezzled due to insecurity and corruption.

The war over the last decade and a half, in which the world’s most powerful security block -- the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States of America -- are involved, proved that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict. The Afghan sides of the conflict, the government and the militants, should have now concluded that the internecine wars have no winner, and even the winner of such wars is a loser. The continuity of war in its current form which only harms, and claims the lives of Afghans on both sides is in the interests of none, but the enemies of Afghans. Currently, neither the government can route the Taliban, nor the Taliban can take over power through violence. Given that, peace should be preferred to war.

The recent direct peace talks between representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban in Qatar is a good step towards peace. For the talks to continue and finally come to fruition, both sides should take confidence-building measures. Also, the role of other parties to the conflict such as the US, regional players, and neighboring countries in Afghan peace cannot be overlooked. These players need to truly support the Afghan peace process because the stability of Afghanistan is for the good of all.
Some neighboring countries, including Pakistan, may think that an unstable Afghanistan serves their interests, but they should bear in mind that the spillover effects of the Afghan war can hurt them, too, as it is the case with Pakistan.

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