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ED: Spring offensive seems a move to sabotage

14 Apr 2019 Afghanistan Times

Amidst intensifying peace effort on the part of US special envoy

and Afghan leaders as well, Taliban’s announcement pertained to so-called

Spring Offensive could be considered a move to derail the recently developed

understanding amongst the different Afghan groups and individuals. Hours after

the Taliban announced their so-called spring offensive, the US Special

Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, who has held

five rounds of talks with Taliban members, said the announcement is “reckless”

and is “indifference” to the demands of Afghans for peace. Ironic to mention

Taliban’s such announcement was followed Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah

Mahmood Qureshi presser whereas he had claimed reaffirmation of Pakistan’s

stance of helping peace and reconciliatory efforts and desirous for an end to

violence in Afghanistan. Such announcements and reaffirmations now has not only

made surprising the Afghans but it could be considered “writing on the walls.”

However, Zalmay Khalilzad has termed Taliban announcement an “irresponsible,” which according to him aimed

at increasing violence as the government announced a security plan.”  In a

tweet, Khalilzad has pointed out. “the Afghan people have clearly voiced their

desire for peace,” adding “through this announcement, Khalilzad said, Taliban

leaders demonstrate their “indifference” to the demands of Afghans across the

country. On behalf of US, Khalilzad has denounced Taliban announcement and

suggested the Afghans to do so. Khalilzad said that such a statement is not

only detrimental to recent commitments made by Taliban leaders but it is also

contrary to promises and assurances made before Qatar, Pakistan and other

countries. On such grounds, he called up on Pakistan, Qatar, and other nations

that want peace in Afghanistan to do the same.”

“The US and our

international partners will stand with Afghan security forces to continue our

effort to end the war in Afghanistan, at the same time as we seek to bring

parties to the table to negotiate peace,” Khalilzad reiterated.  Soon

after Taliban statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi

through a statement reaffirmed what he called their firm stance on return of

peace and stability in Afghanistan but he didn’t criticize or denounced Taliban

statement regarding Spring Offensive in clear words. It seems that Taliban’s

announcement is meant resuming of fighting and violent acts in already war

stricken country. The Afghan government and the Resolute Support Mission also

reacted to the announcement. A spokesman of the Resolute Support mission

in Afghanistan, Dave Butler, said the coalition forces will continue to support

the Afghan forces in the fight against the Taliban as the group has chosen

violence despite an “amazing” opportunity forces. “The Taliban made an

announcement this morning that they choose violence over peace. We assemble the

Resolute Support leadership together and Gen. Miller said the Taliban have made

it clear that they have ignored the will of the people and have guaranteed more

violence,” Butler said. “We have a tremendous opportunity for peace. We are

closer to peace than we ever have been in the past 40 years.” Time and

again almost of the Afghan leaders, religious figures, scholars, intellectuals

and common men are voicing and reconciliation as they have been made fed up by

prolong hostilities. All such issues could easily be resolved through table

talks. Most recently ice melted top long standing conflicts in Moscow moot,

whereas the Taliban representatives mixed within delegates from Kabul. Announcement

of Taliban spring offensive was far from expectation.

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