“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Afghanistan is among handful of countries in the world which has been bearing the brunt of extremely deadly war for years even decades. However, recently Afghans witnessed a long-awaited but unsteady breakthrough. The breezy ceasefire initiated by president Ghani and overlapped with that of Taliban, brought enough noteworthy points to the surface. But first, Subsequent of aforementioned brief truce which was ended by Taliban unilaterally, we see many of our people tremendously disappointed, but let’s mind that peace is not an incident, peace is a process, and a process is in need of time. The status during the Eid days was an incident which many concluded it as process belonging to the peace. Once again it should be highlighted that losing hope means losing to the war.
At this stage, there are some reminders to be directed at the Taliban, especially to the group’s foot soldiers and commanders who walked through the streets in the cities and those of who showed up in the banquets initiated by provincial governors.
Ordinary people plus Afghan forces and provincial administrations received you in a highly dignified manner that you never ever imagined. They shared their table of meal with you, they hugged you, they posed to camera together with you, the women-whom you once imprisoned them in their homes- put the turbans of honor on your heads.
Did you think about all these?! Why people from all walks of life did so?! Are you heroes of this nation?! Are you cause of the success for this nation?! Have you provided relief to this weary nation?! Answer is clear, NO. You are cause of loss of this nation. Afghans received you warmly, sheer because they treated you their own. Still you have been spilling the blood of this nation. Just on June 20 you killed dozens of Afghan forces who embraced you just handful of days ago.
The nation is in deep perplex, how you dare to pull the trigger against those who honored you. It should be cleared, if you do continue so, you will not be pardoned next time. This is may be the last chance you can buy into it.
Anyway, above points are one side of the coin while there is another too. It seems that this brief ceasefire has led to open the eyes of many Taliban fighters who were engulfed by blind propaganda against the nation. A huge number of Taliban fighters who had entered in the cities after a long time, they have not returned back to their strongholds, Ministry of Defense stated on Tuesday, June 19. And those who returned will not fight against ANDSF in the previews mode.
To be a detailed onlooker, there are still optimisms for a lasting peace in the country at some extent. The latest developments made it clear that there are consensuses for peace either in national or in international levels. In term of national level, president Ghani has been persisting that he is open to negotiate any demand rising by Taliban. More over Mr. Ghani held a consultative meeting with political and Jehadi leaders among them ex-president Hamid Karzai on June 20, discussing the recent ceasefire. The political and Jehadi leaders voiced their support for president Ghani’s initiation, said Shah Hussain Murtazawe, president’s deputy spokesperson to a press conference. At the same time Ghani’s decision for extending the ceasefire with Taliban has drawn the welcomes from different countries among them Russia and Iran, both countries pressed a political settlement in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, US, for the first time gave the Taliban’s long insisted demand-holding directs talks with the group- green light. Secretary of state, Mr. Mike Pompu declared Washington’s tendency for engaging in talks with the Taliban. This striking shift of policy is another significant step forward. Afghans expect US-as major player in Afghanistan and in the rest of the world- to spare no efforts in putting an end to the ongoing conflicts in the country. As the 36th president of the US, Lyndon B. Johnson, over five decades ago addressed the United Nations General Assembly, reiterated the US’ commitment to the peace and stability in the world: “any man and any nation that seeks peace and hates war, and willing to fight good fight […] will find the United States of America by their side, willing to walk with them-walk with them every step of the way.” Today Afghan nation is walking through the way of peace and it is desperately in need of US to walk with toward a peaceful future.
President Ghani in his meeting with Helmand peace marchers on Jun 19 in Kabul went on to say he is willing to prolong the ceasefire even for one year, if Taliban is ready for, he added.
Now eyes are staring toward Taliban, by accepting of president Ghani’s back to back offers do they ease the way for reaching a peace deal, or they prefer sticking to the their past and responding the peace demand offered by Afghan nation and government with war? They should realize the position where they currently are, standing against the will of nation will further isolate them.
Abdullah Abed is a journalist, writer and translator of three books, tweeting at @abedabdullah7