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Intra-Afghan talks to be ‘widely problematic’: Experts

Intra-Afghan talks to be ‘widely problematic’: Experts

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On
Aug 02, 2019 - 13:57

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Political commentators are optimistic about the outcome of a possible peace deal between the US and Talibaninfo-icon, but they believe after their deal intra-Afghan talks would be hugely problematic and contentious.

Talks between the US and Taliban, which have been ongoing in Qatar for the last many months, have entered a crucial phase and it is believed an agreement between the sides would be signed within next few days.

The warning sides are expected to agree on a timeline for foreign troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistaninfo-icon, anti-terrorism fight, intra-Afghan dialogue and permanent ceasefire. Other things in the agreement would become known later.

US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad had been in Kabul for the last 10 days before leaving for Qatar. During his stay in Kabul, Khalilzad met six times with President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah.

Before departing for Doha, the US envoy said his trip to Kabul had been the most productive since he took charge as the US special representative for reconciliation in Afghanistan.

He said the US and Afghanistan had agreed on next steps and a negotiating team and technical support group were being finalized.

A number of political experts are upbeat about latest progress regarding peace, but they express concern the intra-Afghan talks would become contentious post-US-Taliban deal.

Kabul University teacher and peace activist Faiz Mohammad Zaland said the US and Taliban would complete their talks over the next one week and they would reach an agreement.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News after the US-Taliban deal, the intra-Afghan talks would be difficult and President Ashraf Ghani would not agree to a power transfer without US pressure.

He said politicians, tribal elders and the international community should play their role in making the intra-Afghan talks a success.

He said the second most important issue was ceasefire and reduction in violence, which was not possible without international and regional pressure.

Another peace activist Mustaq Rahim said he had closely monitored the peace agreement between the government and the Hezb-i-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistan and he was hopeful about recent developments with regard to the peace process.

He said Khalilzad recent trip to Afghanistan went well as for the first time coordination was seen between him and the Afghan government.

He said Khalilzad’s tweet that his trip to Kabul was most productive showed the two sides were on the same page. “The peace process is going well and fast, it is hoped the Afghans would hear some good news in days to come.”

Political expert and former High Peace Councilinfo-icon secretary Syed Khalid Sadat said the peace process remained obscure for internal players because they did not know what was being agreed upon between the US and Taliban.

He said there was progress in talks between the US and Taliban, but hurdles remained and should be removed. He said whatever agreed between the US and the Taliban should be explained to the Afghan nation.

Afghan journalist Sami Yousafzai, who had many times travelled to Doha to closely watch the US-Taliban talks, said the US and the Taliban had agreed upon some points.

He said the Taliban had been previously demanding withdrawal of US forces before agreeing to a ceasefire and intra-Afghan talks. But the Taliban had now retreated from these points.

He said the Taliban would not carry out attacks in provinces from where US forces withdrew and would not insist on the name of Islamic Emirates.

Yousafzai said the real peace process which was intra-Afghan dialogue would begin after the agreement between the US and the Taliban, but the intra-Afghan talks would be hugely problematic.

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