(MENAFN - Daily Outlook Afghanistan) When Zalmay Khalilzad, who has served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistanduring the administration of President George W. Bush, was named as PresidentTrump's special adviser to Afghanistan to try to bring the Afghan governmentand the Taliban to reconciliation on September 05, 2018, Most Afghans welcomedit. He was one of the best candidates for this job because Afghan governmentand people could trust him as a person who may not ignore the Afghan nationalinterests as he's been very critical of Pakistani policies, in the past andheld Pakistan responsible for rising insecurity and revival of Taliban inAfghanistan.
However, when thefirst round of the talks ended in Qatari Capital Doha, the first signs of theUS and Taliban talks, as a controversial talks appeared; the talks were focusedon the US troop withdrawal and Taliban must guarantee that Afghanistan is nolonger a safe haven for terrorists to attack the United States and its allies.Actually, what concerned Afghans were not of the priority of the talks; e.g.the political system of Afghanistan, 18 years achievements of Afghanistan andinternational community, human rights, women rights, freedom of media, basicrights and rights of minority groups.
During the peacetalks, there were no signs of positive changes in the Taliban political andmilitary behavior. What the Afghan and international community expected was tosee reduction in violence. However, they only increased attacking governmentmilitary bases and deliberately targeting the civilians and public spaces. Insome cases which the civilian casualties were very high they did not accept theresponsibility and blamed ISIS for the attacks. And ISIS accepted theresponsibility; because they only want to be on the stage here.
When the 9th round ofthe talks concluded, few Afghans trusted the closed-door negotiations betweenthe United States and the Taliban. Many Afghans expressed fears that the Trumpadministration would make too many concessions to the insurgents, giving themfree rein to re-impose extreme Islamic rule and sacrificing gains in rights andfreedoms under democratic rule. Thus, they were right to some extent, becauseit was disclosed later that even in draft peace agreement they were mentionedas the Islamic Emirate. As a consequence, everyone was afraid the U.S. wouldsign a cease-fire but the Taliban would continue their war against the Afghangovernment and people.
When Donald Trumpcancelled a secret meeting with Taliban and Afghanistan leaders after a bombingin Kabul that killed 12 people,including an American soldier. And in addition to this, he called off peacenegotiations with the insurgent group, nearly all Afghans felt relieved andhappy; Afghan officials, analysts and citizens warmly welcomed President DonaldTrump's announcement that he was calling off the troubled US-Taliban peacetalks aimed at ending the 18-year conflict. At the same time, Afghan governmentstrongly welcomed Trump's announcement. According to them it coincided withofficial worries in Afghanistan that the Taliban were manipulating the peaceprocess. Afghan government reiterated long-standing insistence that only directbilateral talks between Afghan and Taliban leaders could bring about anenduring and substantive settlement. Afghan government termed this decision ofthe President Trump as having proper a proper understanding of the situationand believing that the Taliban were not committed to peace.
The nightmare of theUS and Talban peace agreement ended with the timely and wise decision ofPresident Trump. Taliban are the main barrier to peace in Afghanistan. Anylasting peace deal requires the Taliban must stop killing Afghans and agree tonegotiate directly with the Afghan government. Afghan government has alwayspursued a meaningful peace process and is the implementer of that process.Without a clear framework for Amendment of the Afghan constitution, preservingthe 18 year achievements, protecting human rights, women rights, citizen'sbasic rights including religious and rights of minority groups, there will beno sustainable peace in Afghanistan.