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Monday, April 15, 2024

The struggle of a war-torn land to attain peace

Afghanistan has suffered under the ravages of war for decades. Despite efforts in negotiations, the struggle for peace continues. A peaceful Afghanistan is necessary as it is in the best interest of the entire region.

Afghanistan is ready to welcome peace after the struggle of decades to attain tranquility. For decades, Afghanistan has been in flux due to the civil war. In the wake of this civil war, Human rights, women’s rights, freedom of the press, freedom of speech have brutally been scratched leading to the call for ‘peace.’

The first step in this regard was made by the Afghan government through ‘loya jirga’ in the effort to bring an end to the ongoing war in Afghanistan. The event could not launch due to the heavy presence of the US armed forces. The struggle to attain peace however continued and the next initiative taken was the ‘peace jirga’ which unfortunately could also not succeed.

Read more: No peace in sight for Afghanistan?

Finally in February 2020, an agreement to ‘bring peace in Afghanistan’ was signed in Doha, Qatar between the US and Taliban of Afghanistan. The provisions of the deal included the withdrawal of the US and NATO troops from the land of Afghanistan within 14 months following security guarantees from the insurgent groups. With the signing of this deal, Afghanistan explains that the country is ready to bring peace to the homeland.

The effects of civil war in Afghanistan

The civil war in Afghanistan had a drastic effect on its neighbors significantly, Pakistan. Being located in Central Asia, sharing a border with Pakistan to the east, stability and peace in the country have always been a priority.

The civil war started in Afghanistan as an outcome of the ‘War on Terror’ post 9/11. Since then Pakistan, along with the US, has been actively curbing terrorism. However, Pakistan has been a staunch advocate of bringing an end to the civil war in Afghanistan through dialogue because Pakistan could understand the complications of military use in a way no one else could.

Read more: How Pakistan is still part of America’s war on terror

The civil war in Afghanistan led to instability in the region, creating chaos, and bloodshed of innocent citizens. Pakistan was in no way left unaffected; the country had lost more than 70,000 precious lives to the cause of the War on Terror.

Along with it, the war inculcated fear, loss, and horror among the people all across the globe. Pakistan thus decided to bring the warring political parties of Afghanistan to a table to have a dialogue with an attempt to mark an end to the conflict and its far-reaching effects on the country.

Read more: Peace in Afghanistan in interest of Pakistan, Iran: PM Imran Khan

Appreciating efforts for initiating dialogue

Since the beginning of the peace process in Afghanistan, Pakistan had strongly stood with its policy of ‘peace through dialogue.’ As one formula puts it; “As long as you are talking, you cannot be shooting.”

Pakistan convinced the Taliban of Afghanistan to initiate the dialogue process to curb military use. Up until today, Pakistan stands strong in its decision of negotiation, being the advocate of peace.

This effort of Pakistan has been acknowledged and applauded by the Pentagon expressing gratitude for Islamabad’s continuous support for the Afghan peace process. Similarly, the role of Pakistan has also been applauded in convincing the Taliban to have a conversation with the Afghan government and other stakeholders with an aim for political reconciliation.

Read more: Peace in Afghanistan not possible without Pakistan, Says U.S General

Pakistan Foreign Minister, in the context of the US army withdrawal from Afghanistan before Sep, 11 instead of May said, “They take their own decisions but we will do whatever we can to convince them (Taliban) that it is in their national interest to remain engaged.” Patience and perseverance along with negotiation is the only way to attain peace in the long-awaited conflict of Afghanistan.

Pakistan not ready to bear further losses

Pakistan wants peace, in its own land, in its neighbor, and in the region. Pakistan has suffered a lot and lost much of its pricey possessions including human life – more than 70,000 people have lost their lives, economic loss – $150 billion, and psychological damage.

Pakistan is not ready to bear more loss as evident through the statement given by PM Imran Khan during his interview to Axios on HBO stating that Pakistan will “not” give its land for the US base, as it will lead to war and tension in Afghanistan which will, in turn, have consequences on Pakistan in the shade of revenge.

Read more: Pakistan would ‘absolutely not’ allow US bases in Pakistan, PM Khan

He also states that Pakistan is not ready for another un-rest as the country is not ready for another influx of refugees and is already struggling with uplifting its economy. Unrest in Afghanistan will cause disruption in Pakistan.

Pakistan has already signed trade agreements with Central Asian Republics and the only trade route is through Afghanistan. Hence, a peaceful Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the entire region.

The author is currently working as a Digital Insights Specialist in the National Security Division. She can be reached at: amnah.Jabeen94@gmail.com.The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.