Analysts urge international guarantee on Pakistan pledges
KABUL (Pajhwok): Political analysts say Afghan officials should adopt a unified stance about the peace talks and the international community should guarantee Pakistan would keep promises and the parties consider problems insurgents face as one of the aspects.
Earlier this year, Afghan officials and Taliban representatives held direct talks in China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Pakistan, but the parlays stalled after the Taliban confirmed the death of the group’s founder and long time supreme leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar.
The relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan once again turned hostile after a car bomb attack killed and wounded dozens of people in Shah Shaheed area of capital Kabul. Officials in Kabul blamed the attack on Pakistan-based militants, but Islamabad kept insisting it was ready to help revive the peace talks.
Afghan officials had said the peace talks with the Taliban could not resolve the conflict until Pakistan took practical steps against the insurgents on its soil.
However, President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday agreed to fight jointly against elements not taking the path of peace at an icebreaking meeting on the sidelines of a UN-sponsored Climate Change summit in Paris – one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in history.
Ghani and Sharif discussed the Afghan peace process and relations between the two countries and also met UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
The two joined world leaders including US President Obama, President Xi Jinping of China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in opening the gathering.
Over the next two weeks, 30,000 diplomats and delegates will labor to hammer out a new global pact that would, for the first time, commit nearly every country on earth to enact new policies to reduce their planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.
Political analysts called the meeting between President Ghani and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif “a positive move” but they did not believe in statements by Pakistani officials.
Political analyst Nazar Mohammad Mutmain told Pajhwok Afghan News the Ghani-Sharif meeting was a good development, but said Pakistan always pursued “dual-faced policy” regarding the Afghan peace talks. The country never took measures bearing results during the past 14 years, he believed.
“If the two sides agree and the talks begin, it is essential that powerful countries like China, Russia, the United States or the United Nations guarantee the process implementation and they put pressure on Pakistan to keep promises.”
Mutamain said the Afghan government should pave the ground for intra-Afghan dialogue and both the Taliban and the Afghan government needed to show flexibility in order the talks could be resumed.
He said people’s trust in the unity government eroded due to some internal differences and the dearth of mechanisms achieving peace. For peace talks, he said, Afghan officials should end their differences.
Another expert on political affairs Dr. Faizullah Zaland welcomed the resumption of talks between the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, he said the need for an international guarantee about Pakistan’s pledges was seen.
He also said the national unity government officials lacked cooperation with regard to the peace process and it was high time for them to set aside their differences and work on a mechanism that could strengthen security and ensure peace.
He suggested the Afghan government remain in contact with the Taliban and hold direct talks with them. The Kabul administration should keep active diplomatic relations with Islamabad and compel Pakistan through international pressure into taking practical steps regarding peace.
Law and political science teacher at Kabul University, Nasrullah Stanikzai, also said the peace talks would not produce the desired results in the absence of an international commitment on Pakistan’s pledges.
He believed the Afghan government had no option but to talk peace with Pakistan, but the Ghani-led administration should coerce Pakistan to accept its demands.
“The Afghan officials should organise their activities and programmes that do not endanger the past gains and the government should not withdraw from its conditions.”
Some Meshrano Jirga or Senate members on Tuesday said they backed the Ghani-Sharif meeting but cautioned the Afghan leader to be careful.
Senate Chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar said the Afghans wanted peace but the peace had become a dilemma. “We want a dignified peace, a peace in which the sacrifices of the Afghanistan people are respected.”
He said President Ghani should keep in view the existing problems in Afghanistan and hold peace talks with Pakistan with an organized mechanism in place.
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