Afghan-Taliban peace talks have been going on for a long time, sometimes interrupted, at times deadlock and then resumed. There is always a ray of hope of stable Afghanistan and prosperous region whenever these talks take place. This is in favor and interest of Pakistan. Since we cannot afford to live peacefully with a roaring crumbling neighbor, with whom we always have had turbulent relations. It’s high time that we support the peace efforts with more enthusiasm and make sure that no one derails them and take advantage of it again.
The political office of Taliban in Qatar has been there since 2013 yet closed serves as a liaison with Afghan government and other dignitaries, yet no one knows how many people head it and represent it. Earlier in February this year, Pakistan had advised the Taliban leaders to have a one on one dialogue with the Afghan government and put forward their demands to chalk out a definitive political solution to the long standing problem, which had plunged the whole region and neighbors into discomfort. Qari Din Muhammad, who had headed a team of mediators in meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing in November last year, he also visited Pakistan in connection with the proposed talks. These talks can improve Pakistan’s image in the Afghan government and surely a shock to the anti-Pakistan lobby in the government. Before this all the talks were indirect, the afghan government claims them to be a major breakthrough. This peace process can also help lower the pressure on Ashraf Ghani, since Ashraf Ghani has been alleged of being dumped by Pakistan for not giving desired results. If these talks are successful, it will be a major feat achieved by him, who has staked his political future on convincing the militants to lay down their arms. This would also help in ending violence and cold war between government and Taliban.
The face to face dialogue between Taliban and Afghan Government is a welcoming hope of cold relations turning to talks in a genuine manner. A peace process that would lead to the Taliban ending their insurgency has long been anticipated as a crucial move of the American strategy to stabilize Afghanistan after a costly 14-year war. Both sides have expressed their collective desire to bring peace to Afghanistan and the region side by side. They have recognized the dire need to develop confidence building measures to win trust among the parties. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has backed the peace development and has encouraged closer ties with neighboring Pakistan in order to achieve this goal for stabilizing and normalizing the strained relations. The talks aim to change this meeting into a process of continuing talks, as well as to build trust and to develop the agenda for any negotiations. Taliban have stepped forward which shows that they are interested in joining hands with Afghan government.
An increasingly splintered Taliban movement would have serious repercussions for the peace process, raising questions about how much cooperation Taliban leaders in favor of negotiating could command. They have blamed Afghan government for the lack of sincerity and sole for the negotiations. Due to this distrust, many times the talks backfired leading to severe confrontation between the two. They have also blamed Pakistan for insincerity and Afghan government to ask Pakistan to act as an intermediary. They know that Pakistan can push both of them to sit face to face and have negotiations despite the differences within the factions. However, they must not forget and underestimate efforts by Pakistani government in initiation of the process, which sends a very important and clear message to the world.
Pakistan should not let go any opportunity that helps in the reconciliation of the afghan government and Taliban. The end to violence between will help to end the War on Terror (WoT) and domestic turmoil owed to the violence. This would also help to control the border terrorism and loss of forces experienced by both the neighbors. Since the stable Afghanistan can be an advantage for the region and also for the neighbors.