The need for inclusive peace process

Tuesday, 03 January 2017 03:40 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 244 times

Nearly all sides engaged in Afghanistan apparently stress that Afghan conflict doesn’t have a military solution; however, none of them works, as much as necessary, towards its political settlement. All parties to the conflict, from Afghan sides to western countries and regional powers, have not yet undertaken any initiative fruitful for peace in Afghanistan. 

 

The quartet Afghan peace initiative of Afghanistan, US, China and Pakistan was the only endeavor Afghans were optimistic about, but unfortunately hit dead end due to Pakistan’s non-fulfilment of commitments. Other sides are also as much responsible for the debacle of the process as Pakistan because of their inability or lack of interest to put a squeeze on Islamabad to deliver its pledges. 

Following the failure of the initiative also known as the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), there was a dire need for an alternative reconciliation effort, one that would have addressed the flaws of QCG by including other regional powers that have concerns about the situation of Afghanistan. With about nine months already passed since that time, the Afghan government has not made any overt peace attempts. 

While fighting is escalating day by day across the country, and the violence will not remain limited to Afghan soil for longer and will spill over into neighboring countries, peace is a necessity not only for Afghanistan, but also the entire region. Thus, a logical, political solution acceptable to all sides and one that can protect the gains of the last decade and a half should be sought. 

A political solution acceptable to all sides is only possible when players concerned about the situation of Afghanistan are also involved in the Afghan reconciliation process. The Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace process should handle the concerns of regional countries in a way that can encourage them to pursue government-to-government relations other than government-to-non-state actors. 

Moreover, foreign powers engaged in Afghan conflict should be convinced that their interests can also be protected and goals achieved through peace in Afghanistan.