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Tag Archives: Fragility of Afghan peace process

Brittleness of Afghan peace process

As second round of direct talks between the Taliban and Afghan government is about to begin, all is not well on the Taliban side. Amid uncertainty over Mullah Omar’s fate, internal power struggle has flared up; Mullah Omar’s eldest son Mullah Yaqoob has taken the centre-stage. He is all set to take over the Taliban leadership in case his father’s death is confirmed. De-facto Taliban head Mulla Mansur is facing a rebellion by important military commanders. Opposition to Mansur, is centred round Mulla Yaqoob. Mansur heads the pro-talks faction; while those opposing the talks are gravitated towards Yaqoob. Some Western diplomats, long sceptical about Pakistani promises, say Islamabad now seems serious about promoting Afghan stability. “This is the most genuine push we have seen from Pakistan,” said one diplomat. According to the Afghanistan Strategic and Regional Studies Centre, the Taliban’s growing political activities could be viewed as a rejoinder to mounting pressures it is receiving from Pakistan. President Ashraf Ghani has welcomed the Murree process and is hopeful that the talks would lead to restoration of durable peace. “The whole nation wants peace. During the past 14 years we tried to hold face-to-face talks but could not succeed. But it has happened now.” Ghani said. He has called upon the Taliban to come up with a list of their demands at the second round of talks. Pakistan is striving to live up to its principled stance on peace process; however, it would be unfair to assume that it exercises control over the Afghan Taliban. The start of talks is a positive step, but much could still go wrong. Peace process needs a whole-hearted support from international community and an unflinching UNSC underwriting; it’s time for the P-5 to join the effort and evolve a strong system of guarantors.

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