In an article shared by Foreign Policy on Monday under the title of Afghanistan’s Moment of Risk and Opportunity, A Path to Peace for the Country and the Region President Ashraf Ghani stated every international stakeholder and Afghan people demands a “sovereign, Islamic, democratic, united, neutral” and unified Afghanistan.

President Ghani warned that “If the Taliban refuse to negotiate, they will be choosing the peace of the grave”.

He added, that United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted a Resolution 2513 in which the organization had made clear that the world does not want the return of Taliban’s emirate.

President Ghani noted that the Taliban demands are vague, if they demand an Islamic system, it already exists in Afghanistan.

Taliban should demonstrate their desired end state with “clarity and detail”, the Afghan president outlined.

The president in his article wrote that negotiations require a credible and neutral mediator, which the Doha talks lack and the best option for this role would be United Nations.

“The first topics of negotiation must be reaching the desired end state and putting in place a comprehensive cease-fire to bring peace and respite to the daily lives of the Afghan people and to restore credibility and faith in the peacemaking process. Because cease-fires established during peace negotiations often fall apart, however, it is critical that we have international monitoring”.

“Next, the parties would have to discuss and decide on a transitional administration. Although the structure of the republic must remain intact, a peace administration would maintain order and continuity while elections were planned and held. This transitional authority would have a short tenure, and it would end as soon as presidential, parliamentary, and local elections determined the country’s new leadership. I would not run for office in such an election, and I would readily resign the presidency before the official end of my current term if it meant that my elected successor would have a mandate for peace”, President Ghani elaborated in his article published at Foreign Policy.

Intra-Afghan Talks would face difficult challenges on whether and how the Taliban would sever ties with Pakistan, a country that provides them with logistical, financial, and enlisting supports.

The negotiations must also point Taliban’s relations with al-Qaeda which the UN detailed in a 2020 report.

“It is crucial that the Afghan government and the Taliban also agree on an approach against the Islamic State (or ISIS), al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups and that our agreement include a framework for counterterrorism that secures guarantees of support from other countries in the region and from international organizations”, President Ghani indicated in his opinion at Foreign Policy.

According to the president, a “disrupted and disorderly” transition of power could menace command and control of security sectors in Afghanistan”, he demanded an orderly political settlement and transfer of power and added “There is also a risk that Afghan political figures will not galvanize around an orderly peace process”, thus the government works hard to ensure that the process is inclusive.

President Ghani noted that “uncertainty” may persuade Afghans to migrate, which could lead to another refugee crisis.

The main risk to the peace process is that the Taliban still believes in their miscalculation of defeating NATO and US forces in Afghanistan, the militants feel emboldened due to less encouragement to peace by their leaders.

President Ghani predicted that the Taliban will show no further ensuing interest in making a political deal and “will instead opt for continued military aggression”.

He reiterated that Afghanistan is ready for peace negotiations with the Pakistan-backed militant group and in the meantime is prepared to face them on the battlegrounds.

While calling on Pakistan in the published Foreign Policy article, President Ghani said that it is not late for Pakistan to merge as a partner and stakeholder and admire an orderly Afghan peace process.

Pakistan has also miscalculated to threaten the Afghan peace process, the president added “there have been positive signs that Pakistan will choose the path of regional connectivity, peace, and prosperity, as indicated in remarks delivered in March at the Islamabad Security Dialogue by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Pakistani army chief of staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Those remarks could signify an important pivot from a destructive to a constructive approach to relations with Afghanistan. Now is the opportunity to put those words into action”.

Islamabad would be looking for an enmity with Afghanistan and would be deprived of enormous economical benefits that peace and regional connectivity offers if they choose to continue facilitating Taliban and other terrorist organizations.

“Pakistan would become an international pariah, as it would be left with no leverage in the aftermath of the U.S. troop withdrawal. The Pakistani government miscalculated in its response to the United States’ plan of action for Afghanistan and the region, but it is not too late for Islamabad to emerge as a partner and stakeholder in an orderly peace process”, Foreign Policy noted the President.

As Afghanistan moves its focus towards its water resources, natural resources, sovereignty, democracy, unity, neutral and globally connected Afghanistan, President Ghani vowed to further sacrifice for its protection and achievement.

“The withdrawal of U.S. troops is an opportunity to get us closer to that end state, but only if all Afghans and their international partners commit to a clear path forward and stay the course”, President Ghani concluded in the article.

This comes as the U.S troops are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11 of this year.

Taliban on the other hand claimed victory is theirs and US has lost following the withdrawal announcement, BBC reported.

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  • Khaama Press

    The Khaama Press News Agency is the leading and largest English news service for Afghanistan with over 3 million hits a month. Independent authors/columnists and experts are welcome to contribute stories, opinions and editorials. Send stories to [email protected]