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Afghan leadership realism

A the opening session of 25 countries Peace Conference in Afghanistan Capital Kabul, President Ashraf Ghani offered recognition of Taliban as  legitimate political group as a part of political process that could lead to talks aimed ending more than 16 years of war. He also showed willingness for opening of Taliban office. It is positive signal from the incumbent Afghan government to help create a platform for meaningful talks to end the conflict and restore peace to the lengthy war torn Afghanistan.

President Ashraf Ghani proposed a ceasefire and release of prisoners and expressed willingness to review the constitution as a part of pact with Taliban, who have so far refused to accept direct talks with the government in Kabul. The comments represents a significant shift on the part of Ashraf Ghani, who in the past called Taliban terrorists and rebels although he offered talks with other resistance groups like  Hizb-e-Islami of Gulbadin Hikmatyar.

The realism shown by the ruling leadership in Afghanistan has kindled a hope for a negotiated settlement of the current Afghan conflict. The history of Afghanistan tells that they can sort-out their disputes in intra party dialogue provided foreign interference stops.  Former Afghan President Dr. Najib Ullah approached the leaders of Afghan Tanzimat in 1992 for transfer of power through UN brokered peace agreement. Had that move been supported by world powers and countries of this region peace and stability would have long been restored to Afghanistan. Even after the end of his rule if the 10 resistance groups, who fought a war against the Soviet occupation forces, were left free to resolve their difference the situation on the ground would have taken a positive turn and ensuing fratricidal war would have been avoided. It was that war which paved the way for the rise of Afghan Talibaan . Back then Afghanistan, which was dumped by the US and other western powers after Geneva Accord, became a paradise for terrorist groups.  The tragedy of 11/9 prompted the US to invade of Afghanistan. President Donald Trump Afghanistan strategy envisages a military solution of this conflict by defeating Taliban on the battle ground. It remains to be seen as to whether the United States lends its support to the realistic initiative of President Ashraf Ghani or not.

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