Things to be done before resumption of peace talks with Taliban

Tuesday, 06 June 2017 04:07 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 56 times

Kabul is playing host to an international conference on Afghan peace and stability today. The participants of the meeting, the Kabul Process, will discuss ways how to restore peace to Afghanistan. Afghan government has said the Kabul Process will be different than other conferences on peace, and coordinate peace efforts. While this initiative is apparently the continuation of consultative meetings on Afghan peace in Moscow, the National Unity Government (NUG) says there will be some changes in it. Even there are unconfirmed reports that Afghan government will also share with the international community evidence of Pakistan’s support to the militants.

 

Every effort for peace is welcome; however, there was and is a need for a unified stance between government leaders and Kabul-based political movements before any important talks about peace with the militants and the Kabul Process. In case of persistence of the tenuous political posture in Kabul, the Kabul Process can also end up in failure as previous peace initiatives, so it is hoped it doesn’t happen. 

To make the peace parleys a success, the National Unity Government needs to embrace a strong stance in Kabul. To this end, the first step is ensure coordination between government and the various government actors, political parties and influential figures. If the government comes to a negotiating table with the militants without a strong political consensus in Kabul, not only it won’t have an opportunity to appropriately protect the interests of Afghan nation, the process can also be faced with challenges by some political circles. Also, a divided government stance erodes the militants’ trust in peace talks, which will only result in the withdrawal of militants from peace negotiations. Thus, prior to any kind of dialogues with the insurgents and taking into account the need for political consensus, the government should work on some strategies soon after the first meeting of the Kabul process that can help bring unanimity to the government. In such circumstances, Loya Jirga is mostly viewed as the only means to bring unanimity and legitimacy to the government, which the government should not forget as an important option.