Special Envoys and Special Representatives of the USA, European Union, France, Germany, Italy, NATO, Norway, and the UK met in Berlin to discuss Afghanistan issue on Friday. The envoys of Western countries reiterated their commitment for peaceful negotiated settlement of Afghanistan and emphasized that they oppose the establishment of any government in Afghanistan by force which would constitute a threat to regional peace. The envoys highlighted the need to accelerate the pace of the Afghan peace negotiations and commitment to work with other stakes holders. The participants condemned the continued violence in Afghanistan and called on Taliban to end their undeclared Spring Offensive and demanded all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law in all circumstances.
The envoys further expressed their resolve to uphold the announcement of April 14 to conduct an orderly, coordinated, and deliberate withdrawal of the US and Resolute Support Mission Forces from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. It was said that during the withdrawal, the safety of international troops must be ensured and any Taliban attacks on the troops during this period will be met with a forceful response.
The Afghan Peace process has been stalled over several months and no effort for its revival proved to be fruitful despite, continuous attempts of Qatar, Turkey, Pakistan, EU, Russia, and the US. The both main players, Afghan government and Taliban remained sticked to their hard lines. The situation is very interesting and surprising that United States had announced its troops withdrawal by Sep 11, and currently the country is going through the worst kind of violence and bloodshed. The people think, whether US is evacuating Afghanistan without reaching out any political settlement and why it is happening so.
In fact, US had concluded the Doha agreement with its rival Taliban and promised to withdraw its troops by May 1, but the second phase of the peace plan that was Intra-Afghan dialogues could not reach to its conclusion primarily due to continuous resistance by the Afghan government. Presumably, Afghan government tried to keep the US involved in the country so they can keep their offices for longer time. President Ghani’s strategy was revolving around the theme that the Afghan government would keep using the US’s umbrella until they settle the things as per their desire. Due to this reason, Afghan side was displaying blunt behavior to US efforts of conceiving consensus between the two warrying parties. After that, United States decided to uphold its word with Taliban to complete its troops withdrawal by Sep 11. However, as per sources, it does not mean to reverse all US gains of over two decades but to release the Afghan government not to miss the opportunity. Furthermore, it would not be a blank cheque to the Taliban, US troops will be shifted at US bases in the region and would be ready to respond any unforeseen situation in future.
According to experts, there is sufficient time for both parties to conclude a win win agreement between them. Afghanistan is for all its citizens irrespective of their race or creed, language, or religion and all have equal right to live and rule the country. So, no one can impose his will on others and peaceful coexistence within broader guidelines of Islam and democracy is the need of every Afghan. Therefore, if both parties did not display their spirit for peace and stability, they would plunge the country in to situation like post-Soviet era anarchy. It is time for Afghan elders to display their leadership.