Stubbornness on both sides jeopardizes peace

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The intractable stance of both the Afghan government and the Taliban towards the peace process is perilous, the High Peace Council (HPC) said, warning that the war could prevail if the Afghan government and the Taliban do not come up with preconditions for the peace process, particularly on the issue of a ceasefire.

This comes a day after the Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid rejected media reports that the ruling council of the group had agreed to a temporary ceasefire that would eventually open the way for signing a peace deal between the group and the United States. Mujahid said in a statement that discussions are still underway about a reduction of violence and lessened operations. But despite the claims by the Taliban, the group launched attacks in several districts across Afghanistan.

Apparently, the Taliban’s denial to accept a ceasefire proposal has complicated the Afghan peace process. The former Taliban regime ambassador to Pakistan Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, said on Twitter that the peace framework will remain fragile because of mistrust and hostile acts. “The peace is always fragile, it is possible to disrupt it anytime–because there is no trust and “countless” hostilities,” Zaeef said.

“If the government also remains hard with its conditions and insists that the ceasefire happen and the Taliban also insists that they will reduce violence and do not accept a permanent ceasefire, this will mean the continuation of the war and only the people will be affected,” said Haji Din Mohammad, deputy head of the High Peace Council. Over the past ten days, at least 50 members of the Afghan security forces have been killed in five provinces of the country as a result of Taliban attacks.

The Afghan security officials have claimed that the Taliban also suffered major casualties during the recent spate of violence. According to the figures, 18 soldiers in Balkh, 17 in Takhar, 14 in Jawzjan, 10 in Helmand and 8 in Faryab so far have been killed by the Taliban in the past ten days. “The war will be reduced or terminated if there is a ceasefire in place; if there is no a ceasefire, it would be difficult to end the war and this is a great challenge,” said IbrarullahMurad, a member of parliament’s defense committee.

“Now there is neither a ceasefire nor a peace, they only execute maneuvers against each other–the US on the Taliban, and the Taliban on the US–this looks like a game,” said military analyst AtiqullahAmerkhel. Meanwhile, the office of the National Security Advisor has reiterated the government’s will for peace, but urges the continuation of military offensives against the insurgents. “The peace remains one of the government’s top priorities and we prefer that–but this year, the security forces are on the offensive and they are also defending,” said Jawed Faisal, spokesman for the National Security Advisor.(Tolo News)