The peril of loss of trust in peaceful solution of Afghan conflict

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 03:29 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 306 times

Beside other things, the peace process is also unfortunately viewed as a “project and income source” in Afghanistan. The weak government stance has allowed some opportunist circles to gain popularity and protect their economic interests by deceiving people under the name of peace process. Instead of holding these elements accountable for defaming the peace process, the government just rejects its representation and involvement in the process, a behavior which catalyzes suspicions that there may be some kind of connivance and deal between the government and those elements.  Such exploitation of the name of peace wrecks irreparable damage on the genuine peace efforts in the country, including peace talks and political dialogue which are very important values, and whose success is the greatest aspiration of Afghan people. It is exactly what the enemies of Afghanistan want. They are working to discredit the peace process, thereby leaving them with the only option of continuing the fight and bloodshed. 

 

The main goal of efforts launched under the name of peace by some elements is to undermine the trust of Afghan people in peace and political settlement of the ongoing conflict. Sometimes a shopkeeper from Quetta talks to the government on behalf of the Taliban, or sometimes a businessman from Peshawar poses as Taliban negotiator and representative in peace talks with Afghan government. The repetition of such scenarios leads to the erosion of trust in the Taliban as a main side of the Afghan conflict. It means when leaders of the Taliban, which have at least so far remained as the biggest insurgent group, decide to come to the negotiating table with Afghan government, they also cannot be trusted, and thus there is zero chance of success of any peace parleys when there is lack of trust. 

It is the responsibility of both the Afghan government and the Taliban to prevent the peace process from being ridiculed and discredited. The government should unify its stance on peace, and prevent its officials from attending peace meetings that defame and ridicule than help the peace process. Only rejection of participation cannot put an end to the mistrust. The Taliban who are eying a role for themselves in Afghan politics in the future should, by clarifying their stance on peace, counter individuals who pretend to be representing them, but in fact pursue their economic interests than peace.

 

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