Is an Afghan peace deal finally within reach?

  • The end may be in sight

By Tanzeela Aslam

Undoubtedly, this moment has not come without a cost. Thousands of Afghans (and their international colleagues) sacrificed their lives and resources to get Afghanis right here. But even those vast sacrifices have no longer been sufficient to deliver sustainable peace to a country that has been torn apart by warfare over a long time. Afghanistan now needs a well-rounded approach and practical management to tackle the last few hurdles on its long and deceitful route to peace.

Thankfully, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani devised a complete and sensible four-section method to obtain sustainable peace in the country.

First, the president insists, Pakistan needs to be satisfied to end hostilities closer to Afghanistan. The Taliban and their associates who interact in violence in Afghanistan have been doing so with the blessing and encouragement of Islamabad, he claims. A peace settlement can simplest be agreed on if and while Pakistan learns to respect the sovereignty of Afghanistan and gives up its ambition to forcefully bring its neighbour into its sphere of influence.

Today, Ghani insists on an Afghan-led peace process because he no longer wants to copy past errors or comply with a procedure that might set the country off in the middle of some other bloody battle inside the near future

Pakistan most recently made its opposition to a sovereign, united and completely independent Afghanistan apparent when Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan called the Kabul authorities a “hurdle to peace talks” and recommended setting up an interim government inside the country. An interim government means returning to Square One, scrapping the constitution and reversing the gains of over 18 years. The people of Afghanistan, who fought long and hard for their independence, don’t have any intention of agreeing to any peace process that would deprive the country of its sovereignty. Ghani is privy to this and believes the peace process can most effectively move forward after consensus is reached between allies.

Second, Ghani asserts, Afghanistan needs to work towards gaining the trust of the world community and demonstrating that it is ready to tackle the demanding situations of the post-war era independently. The president believes sustainable peace can most simply be completed by ending Afghanistan’s reliance on foreign resources. Alongside his efforts to achieve monetary self-sufficiency, Ghani is likewise embarking on diplomatic engagements to restore the international community’s trust in the Afghan authorities. So after some time, his engagement with the USA resulted in the Trump Administration’s Afghanistan-centered South Asia method and put increased strain on Pakistan to quit its assistance for the Taliban. Meanwhile, his engagement with Islamic countries resulted in the endorsement of his peace efforts by means of Saudi Arabia and the Indonesian Ulema Council. Moreover, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation officially defined the Afghan struggle as a battle “contrary to the concepts and formal teachings of Islam”. This statement stripped the war of its spiritual justifications, bringing Afghanistan one step closer to peace.

Third, the President believes a successful peace process must involve all segments of Afghan society. Past events in 1992 and 2001 really show that peace efforts which depend on reconciliation with one institution, while at the same tim undermining others, bring about renewed conflicts. President Ghani is privy to this, and he has already met and engaged in intensive discussions with hundreds of citizens such as women rights activists, civil society representatives and a diverse choice of political leaders and non-secular scholars. He has given every stratum a stake in peacemaking. Ghani believes what Afghanistan desires is a people-targeted peace, now not elite-led one, and he is working hard to supply this.

Fourth, Ghani believes the peace process ought to be owned and led by the people and authorities of Afghanistan. In 1989, the United Nations brokered a peace deal between the Pakistan-based totally Afghan mujahedeen and the government of Mohammad Najibullah. However, this peace deal failed, leading to renewed conflict and extra bloodshed. The failure of the deal was in particular because of the exclusion of Afghans from the process and the dearth of mechanisms for implementation. Today, Ghani insists on an Afghan-led peace process because he no longer wants to copy past errors or comply with a procedure that might set the country off in the middle of some other bloody battle inside the near future.

As the peace process intensifies and some factors each within and outside Afghanistan suggest an interim authority, civil society activists gathered in Kabul and had a verbal exchange on the form of peace they want. One of their foremost needs changed into the demand for the Afghan constitution and the moderate values of the republic to be upheld. The Afghan Constitution assigns the power to declare war and peace to the president.