ICG: Talks with Taliban unlikely to spur peace
KABUL (PAN): An international body on Monday warned that current talks with Taliban are unlikely to bear results for a “sustainable peace in Afghanistan” due to lack of strategy and internal politicking.
The International Crisis Group’s (ICG) latest report said “debilitated by internal political divisions and external pressures, and President Hamid Karzai’s government is poorly positioned to cut a deal with leaders of the insurgent groups.”
In the report titled “Talking about talks”, it said Afghan security personnel were weak to maintain the nation’s security by the end of 2014 – likely to stoke internal political rivalry that would further undermine peace prospects.
“To avoid another civil war, a major course correction is needed that results in the appointment of an UN-mandated mediation team and the adoption of a more realistic approach to resolution of the conflict,” said ICG.
“A thorough reassessment of Karzai’s national reconciliation policy, role of the High Peace Council and Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) is urgently needed. The program has faced staunch resistance from local security officials mistrustful of participants’ motives and its impact has been minimal at best”, it added.
The report said Afghan government must include all relevant domestic stakeholders from every ethnic group and civil society, human rights commission and national Security Council in negotiations, rather than the current amalgam of warlords, to protect all citizens’ rights.
Besides, the think-tank said the UN, supported by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), US, Pakistan and Iran could play a crucial role in the Afghan-led peace process.
Constitutional reforms were vital for shaping sustainable settlement, the report said, while criticising the current political system that was not abreast with the diverse nature of Afghan society.
“Imbalances among the executive, legislature and judiciary and the need for devolution of power from Kabul to the provinces must be addressed,” ICG noted.
ICG asked the UN Security council to appoint a mediation team that effectively engage with the government, insurgent leaders and regional actors to design a consultative mechanism that includes -- Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, India and bordering Central Asian states, and other external players such NATO, Russia, China and the U.S.
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