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Editorial: Adjourned with huge hopes at Doha

13 Mar 2019 Afghanistan Times

The longest ever session of peace talks between US Special

representative Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban Political office at Doha

concluded with big hopes and too much claims made from both sides. Now both

sides, especially Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad is embarked on trips back to Washington,

Kabul and other countries for taking what he called other “partners” into

confidence. Announcing conclusion of the longest phase of talks with Taliban,

the US Special Envoy Khalilzad in tweet messages remarked, “Just finished a

marathon round of talks with the Taliban in Doha. The conditions for peace have

improved. It’s clear all sides want to end the war. Despite ups and downs, we

kept things on track and made real strides.” He further states, “Peace requires

agreement on four issues; counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal,

intra-Afghan dialogues, and a comprehensive ceasefire. In January talks, we

“agreed in principle” on these four elements. We’re now “agreed in draft” on

the first two.” And according to Ambassador Khalilzad, “Intra Afghan dialogues

will begin for a political settlement and comprehensive ceasefire when the

agreement in draft about a withdrawal timeline and effective counterterrorism

measures is finalized.” Taliban spokesperson has endorsed Ambassador Khalilzad

by saying, “this round of talks saw extensive and detailed discussions taking

place regarding two issues that were agreed upon during January talks. Those

two issues were the withdrawal of all foreign  forces from Afghanistan and

preventing anyone from harming others from Afghan soil; how and when will all

foreign forces exit Afghanistan and through what method? Similarly, how will

the United States and her allies be given assurances about future Afghanistan.”

However, Taliban have denied ceasefire with US or Afghan government as reported

by media. Whatever might be intentions and reaction of some of militant’s

mentors and sponsors who suit fuelling tensions and hostilities in Afghanistan

but one thing is very clear-shift in Taliban leadership mind. Now Doha talks

proved that Taliban leaders also wants peace and end to fighting but they

making their best for making safe and sound their future in the already

existing political process in Afghanistan. Couple of weeks back, Taliban

leadership have been encouraged by other fellow leaders headed by ex-President

Hamid Karzai at Moscow. Now both the sides are making arrangements for

embarking on the main agenda of “intra Afghan dialogues” which might help them

in sorting out all issues pertained to future destiny of Afghanistan and its

people who were badly affected by imposed wars, hostilities, terror and

violence. These war affected Afghans are attaching great hopes with the US

brokered peace talks at Doha and considering it last hope for peace and

tranquility in the war-torn motherland. US high ups are desirous for an end to

fighting in Afghanistan as it badly affects its diplomatic and political

efforts in the region. Secondly, recent developments specially Taliban

leadership reluctance of flying to Islamabad and Riyadh of shaking hands and

meeting Saudi Prince is confirm shift in policies of Taliban who at once stated

“depending in Pakistan.” Before of Prince Muhammad Bin Salman’s trip to

Islamabad in previous February, the Taliban leadership has also refused to

reach in Islamabad and talk to Ambassador Khalilzad. An end to its dependency

in Pakistan, Taliban leadership seems to be in a position of resolving the

decade’s long conflict through intra-Afghan dialogues in according to rich


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