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Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad: Peace process bells ringing?


News Desk |

Zalmay Khalilzad has entered Afghanistan’s political scene to negotiate intra-Afghan dialogue with the Taliban, Imtiaz Gul, the prominent strategic analyst said. Mr. Gul made these remarks while speaking to Dr. Moeed Pirzada on his prime-time show ‘Live with Moeed Pirzada’ at GNN news. He said that Zalmay Khalilzad has come to make way for interim Government in Afghanistan to satisfy the demands of the Taliban.

The diplomat landed in Islamabad on the 3rd of December. Zalmay Khalilzad is a US diplomat and a special representative to Afghanistan for the US. His arrival in Afghanistan has sparked a media debate on whether if the US has finally decided to exit Afghanistan and has sent Khalilzad to negotiate the process between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Taliban will not do that because the US is targeting those Taliban who are against dialogue. In such a case, AB Manan was murdered in Afghanistan.

“He will create grounds for intra Afghan dialogue in Afghanistan”, Imtiaz Gul said. “The US has accepted five major demands of the Taliban. They are resorting to face-saving tactics there”. During Zalmay’s second round of dialogue with the Taliban in Qatar on 15th November, the Taliban put forward demands to postpone presidential elections, which are scheduled to be held in April 2019. Additionally, the Taliban asked the US to form an interim setup under former Justice Minister Dr. Abdul Sattar Seerat who is of Tajik ethnicity.

Unnamed US officials told NBC that they assumed President Donald Trump will pull troops out from Afghanistan before the 2020 elections. Analysts say the flurry of recent diplomatic activity by the US officials is a sign that President Trump wants a deal even if it is not on ideal terms.

Read more: Afghan peace, a shared responsibility

Rustam Shah Mohmand, former Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan and prominent Afghan analyst has said that experts and regional monitors see some behavioral changes of the US government in the region, especially its engagements with Taliban in Qatar; “they are mainstreaming Taliban to sustain cease-fire with Taliban.

Taliban will not do that because the US is targeting those Taliban who are against dialogue. In such a case, AB Manan was murdered in Afghanistan. It looks impossible for Pakistan to motivate Afghan Taliban towards dialogue. Pakistan, at most, can work for removal of the name of Taliban from UN’s organizational blacklist”.

Dr. Moeed Pirzada asked Mr. Gul of the aftermath in case of a withdrawal; will Blackwater or Trojan Horse activities sustain in Afghanistan? To this, Mr. Gul responded, ‘currently, 14000 US military personals are there in Afghanistan. It is plausible that they keep up to three thousand American soldiers in Afghanistan.

Read more: US lights up pathway to Afghan peace

The US will include Taliban in interim government and US will remove the Taliban from the blacklist. In the process of dialogue, the Afghan government itself is the biggest obstacle because they consider this dialogue a threat for their government and the Taliban will win this barter if it were to take place’.