Asia Maqsood |
A declaration calling for an ‘Afghan-led and Afghan-owned’ peace process has been adopted in two-day mega international meeting on March 26-27, 2018 in Tashkent (Uzbekistan).
The summit was attended by the UN Special Envoy to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, as well as the Ministers and senior officials of China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates besides India.
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Pakistan has stressed on the political settlement for Afghanistan conflict. Addressing to the Tashkent Summit on Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Defense Minister, Khawaja Asif also proposed a regional approach for peace and stability in Afghanistan, and the whole region. He appreciated Uzbekistan and its leadership on this regional initiative for peace in Afghanistan and cooperation on counter-terrorism and connectivity. Negotiations with the Taliban are the only solutions to end 17 years old bloody war on terror in Afghanistan.
Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani has invited the Taliban for an unconditional peace talk during Kabul peace conference on February 28, 2018. Pakistan has supported Ghani’s initiative. Ruusia, China and the US also have put weight behind Ghani’s proposal. Pakistan also reiterated the need of collective pressure on Taliban to avail this opportunity for the rehabilitation of Afghanistan during the summit.
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Pakistan is committed to follow its proposal named as “Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity which was aimed at developing mechanisms for bilateral cooperation in security, counter-terrorism, border controls and smooth return of Afghan refugees to Afghanistan.
Currently, Afghanistan’s government seems more optimistic to find a political solution. Now, Taliban are disintegrated into different factions. They are no longer united under one leader like they were under their former leader, Mullah Omer. Moreover, US Secretary of Defense, James N. Mattis and Ghani have discussed many aspects that are needed to bring Taliban into the peace talks during his latest visit to Kabul.
India and Pakistan is a prerequisite for peaceful political resolution of Afghanistan.
Keeping in account all above factors, Tashkent conference would be helpful for the multilateral cooperation of US, Russia, China, Pakistan and Central Asian states on a single platform. But the current time is very critical as more than 20 western countries have decided to expel Russian diplomats from their territories. the US has also alleged Russia for arming Taliban, though Russian Embassy in Kabul responded furiously, “Those who are really responsible for the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan are trying to put the burden of guilt for their failures on Russia and damage the Russian-Afghan relations, Russia has disproved these charges in a statement by the embassy.
As the regional and extra-regional countries have significant role in the development of peace and stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan has reiterated that international community has to play their role for the rehabilitation process on various regional and international platforms. Therefore, a harmonious approach among regional and extra-regional countries; US, Russia, China, India and Pakistan is a prerequisite for peaceful political resolution of Afghanistan in order to convince the Taliban to bring them on table for negotiations.
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Despite the major fluctuations in the international political environment, Ghani’s recent offer was the most important sign of progress in at least the past three years. Initially, Taliban did not show their willingness to join peace talks. It is quite interesting that even if the Taliban show their willingness to join the peace talks, there is a need of confidence -building measures in order to address their grievances and demands. They are significant part of social fabric of Afghan society.