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Tag Archives: Murree peace process

Afghan peace process: which way?

President Erdogan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, inter alia, discussed the prospects of budding Afghan peace process during their meeting in Chaklala. Over the previous years, Turkey has been taking keen interest in the negotiated settlement of Afghan crisis; initiatives like Istanbul, Ankara and Heart of Asia processes are just some of Turkey’s creativities. Matter was also discussed during a meeting between the US Special Representatives Daniel Feldman and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif. Participants of both these meetings have expressed the hope that the talks would resume soon. Taliban are facing their biggest challenge. Death of Mullah Omar is certainly a strategic blow to the outfit. His charismatic stature had kept the group together and effective; his successor is not likely to attract the same esteem. Reports indicate that many senior Taliban commanders are not satisfied with the new ‘Supreme Leader’. Paramount question haunting the strategists is whether the movement would survive as a cohesive force, or splinter out around at least half a dozen second tier leaders vying for power. Historical record of Afghan militant leadership supports the notion that there could be some fissures; especially so when Mullah Omar’s family, too, has refused to pledge allegiance to him, until he is unanimously elected. Notwithstanding the controversy surrounding the death of the two iconic leaders of Taliban movement, there is a silver lining that successors to both departed leaders are known for their pro-peace commitment. Though all is not well on the Taliban side, hopefully, Siraj and Mansur will be able to carry along the major chunk of Taliban towards Murree peace process. The good omen is that Mansoor, who has been the defacto leader for quite some time now, is a pro-peace process leader and he is also keen to include the Doha peace commission into the Murree peace process. Appointment of new leadership may help foster a semblance of unity within the Taliban; Mansoor's appointment was any way unlikely to please everyone in the Taliban community.

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