Analysts see no hope for peace
KABUL (PAN): Political observers say the government lacks a proper mechanism to make peace with the rebels, as the US and Pakistan are working to protect their interests in the so-called negotiated settlement to the conflict."
The views were aired by participants of this week’s radio and TV programme, “Your Voice”, a joint initiative of the Killid media group and its partners -- Pajhwok Afghan News and Saba Media Organistaion -- within the newly-created Afghanistan Media Consortium.
Political commentator Faiz Mohammad Zaland said President Karzai and his American counterpart Barack Obama had agreed on talks with the insurgents through their proposed bureau in Qatar. The US wanted to bring new players into Afghanistan's politics through the Doha office, he said.
The government says it would recognise a Taliban address in Qatar if the insurgents are ready to arrive at the negotiation table with it.
But Zaland said the Taliban would not hold talks with the government because they believe they would be able seize power once foreigners have gone. Without elaborating.
On Maulana Fazl Rehman, a senior Pakistani political and religious leader's visit to Qatar to attend peace parleys between Taliban, Afghan and US officials, Zaland said the Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam leader has been a preferred choice for such gatherings by the Pakistani government and the Taliban.
"The Taliban believe the Maulana can better protect their interests and can better represent them in such talks," the political analyst said. Rahman has the potential to bring Taliban representatives to the negotiation table because he had a key role in their creation, he said.
On possible release of remaining Afghan Taliban prisoners by Pakistan, Zaland said the country wanted to stem unrest at home by releasing Taliban leaders. Islamabad has not arrested Taliban commanders who have huge stakes in the Afghan insurgency, but it detained those going against its policies.
He believed peace could be achieved in Afghanistan if the interests of Pakistan, Iran and the US were protected. He suggested the current mechanism of peace parleys should be wound up and individuals like Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Ali Ahmad Jalali should be engaged in the process.
Taking part in the debate, Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai said it seemed impossible for the incumbent government to make peace with the rebels who neither recognise the constitution nor willing to take part in elections.
He said President Karzai would agree to a peace deal that safeguards his future and stay in power, while the US wants to achieve a face-saving end to its 11-year-old war in cooperation with Pakistan in order to drawdown its forces from Afghanistan.
"If at this crucial stage, relations between the US and Pakistan deteriorate, Afghanistan would turn into another Vietnam," the political analysts warned.
Ahmadzai said President Hamid Karzai had requested Maulana Fazl Rahman many times to assist his government talks with the Taliban. Pakistan and Afghanistan want the release of all Taliban inmates who could create problems for the two countries.
Military affairs expert Mohammad Omar Sapi said the history was witness to the fact that peace plans designed outside the country had never been successful to bring durable peace. The peace process could succeed only when led by the Afghans, he said.