Efforts on to resume quartet peace process

Tuesday, 07 February 2017 05:13 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 235 times

China has begun making strides to restart the stalled peace process with the Taliban. As part of the renewed endeavors, Deng Xijun, the Special Representative of the People's Republic of China for Afghanistan and Pakistan has arrived in Kabul and met with Afghan officials, including President Ashraf Ghani. In his meeting with President Ghani, Deng Xijun stressed peace talks were the only solution to Afghan conflict. 

 

 

According to a presidential press statement, Xijun has also acknowledged China-Taliban links, saying they have encouraged the Taliban to come the negotiating table with Afghan government, and pressed Pakistan to resume meetings of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) involving Washington, Beijing, Kabul and Islamabad. The Chinese special envoy has also added China has always emphasized on the legitimacy of Afghan government and President Ghani, asserting that dialogue was the only option to having a bright future. 

 

For peace to come to Afghanistan, Afghans pinned high hopes on the QCG which paved the way for first direct peace talks between representatives of Afghan government and the Taliban, but hit a dead end later on because of Pakistan not fulfilling its commitments. The facilitation of direct talks by QCG and the membership of the US and China in it were the key reasons Afghans were hopeful about the success of the initiative. It was expected that the US and China will employ their leverage on Kabul and Islamabad respectively to impel the two countries to honor their commitments made under the QCG. 

 

The failure of the quartet process was a major setback for Afghan peace, after which no serious attempts have been publicly made by the government and its allies to talk to the Taliban, except the peace deal with Hizb-e-Islami party; that is why we can say the reconciliation process has been stalled. Attempts to restart the QCG meetings are a positive step, but will only yield results when mistakes and deficiencies of the previous meetings are addressed and prevented. 

Furthermore, China and America should force the parties to the initiative to deliver on their promises because empty pledges cannot help Afghanistan achieve peace. By the same token, the quartet process must also address the concerns and questions of other regional powers about Afghanistan in a way that can secure their support for Afghan peace.