For two decades Afghanistan has been the epicentre of American strategic involvement. But with the signing of the ‘Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan‘ between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the US, a determined adversary became an ally overnight. the Taliban
Doha accord, signed in March this year, was the culmination of nearly eighteen months of negotiations between the Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and the US, represented by special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, by keeping the legitimately elected government of Ashraf Ghani out of the process. Through the negotiations and even right up to the signing of the peace accord, with violence being its main leverage, the Taliban refused to a ‘cease-fire’.
Taliban to not allow anyone comprising US security to operate from Afghanistan
The Taliban’s end of the bargain comprises the second part of the Doha accord. This section basically states that the Taliban will not allow any individuals or groups, including al-Qaeda, which pose a threat to the US and its allies from operating on Afghan soil.
The third section is an assurance by the US that it will try to accord international legitimacy to the Taliban, by ensuring the endorsement of the Doha Accord by the UN.
Signed in the presence of leaders from Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey, India, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the accord assures the Taliban of legitimacy. By doing this, the US has officialised the radicalising influence of the most extremist militant group in the region.
As the Americans begin the first phase of the withdrawal of forces to be completed in the next four and a half months, a key test of the accord’s feasibility will be the progress or lack therein of the intra-Afghan talks.
Will the Taliban negotiate with the other Afghan factions?
If the factions actually come to the negotiating table, the important task would be to map out a transition period that ends the war and brings the Taliban into Afghanistan’s political system.
Rather a mere seven-day “reduction in violence” forms the footing for a deal with the deadliest militant group in the world. It is what constitutes an outline for the US to get ‘out of the nation-building process’ and deliver on a 2016 campaign promise that US President Donald Trump can brag about in the upcoming 2020 US presidential elections.
Being touted as a great success of American diplomacy by some quarters, the peace deal with the Taliban, whose chief ally is the Haqqani network, has, in fact, revealed with a shudder, the erosion of American resolution and attitudes, which the challenge of the Taliban’s tenacity of terrorist attacks has effected.
Taliban want a complete withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan
The foremost theme of the accord signed in Doha is the complete withdrawal of the US and Coalition forces from Afghanistan in a phased manner within 14 months. Withdrawal from five US coalition bases is conditional.
‘Expeditiously’ by March 10, the US would release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners. The US will engage diplomatically with the UN for the removal of sanctions against the Taliban by May 29, as also US sanctions by August 27. The US will no longer use force in Afghanistan or intervene in its domestic affairs. This will markedly reduce Washington’s scope in the country.
India opposed to peace process
Hezb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said that the Afghan government is building a militia force with Indian help, reported Afghanistan’s Khaama press.
Hezb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said in a Friday prayer sermon that the Afghan government was opposed to the peace process and was taking steps that would have dangerous consequences for Afghanistan.
He said India was opposed to the ongoing peace process for Pakistan and wanted to form a joint militia force with the Afghan government. He added that the Afghan government was opposed to peace and did not want the Taliban to be part of the current system.
As per Hekmatyar , efforts are underway to establish militia forces in the northern provinces of Afghanistan. He also said that the Afghan government was trying to create obstacles to peace, but said that the agreement reached between the Taliban and the United States would be implemented.
GVS News Desk