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Who Hinders Peace in Afghanistan?

The government and the Taliban have made no progress in the second phase of peace talks. The main reason for this is the transfer of political power in Washington and the ambiguity about the new US administration’s approach to the Doha Agreement. The Taliban have also unilaterally left the peace table and embarked on a diplomatic tour to travel to countries that do not necessarily have a favorable view of US dominance and presence in the region.
Meanwhile, the government and the Taliban have entered into a war of words. The Taliban see Ghani as an obstacle to peace and say that if he resigns, they are willing to work with the government after him, and Ashraf Ghani attributed the attack on the staff of the Maidan Wardak Rural Development Authority and the Herat Public Protection Forces to the Taliban. With the escalation of violence, he has proved that he does not believe in peace.
Ashraf Ghani called the attacks “terrorist” and said in a statement condemning Taliban and saying that they were avoiding peace talks under repeated pretexts and “proving once again that they do not believe in peace and seek to kill innocent people” and “the use of violence is the worst approach the Taliban have taken, and it has no consequences other than the escalation of the crisis and the continuation of the war.”
Thus, where is the current direction of the peace process and what is the future perspective of this process? The simple answer to this question is that the outcome of the Biden government’s assessments will determine the roadmap for peace and war in Afghanistan.
However, there are elements in Afghanistan’s internal equations that affect the peace process and can play a major role in determining its direction.
One of these elements is Ghani’s approach to peace; a government that is unable to contain the Taliban-linked violence, eliminate immediate and direct security threats, remove the horrific ghost of terror from the streets of the capital, and end the anxiety and psychological turmoil of the Afghan people due to widespread insecurity; but by attributing targeted assassinations and magnetic bombings to the Taliban, use the leverage as a propaganda tool to question the group’s honesty and commitment to peace.
Ashraf Ghani’s new position can also be evaluated in this regard; Without mentioning the direct responsibilities of the government under his leadership for the security of the people and the stability of the country, he points the finger of blame at the Taliban and questions the group’s belief in peace. However, no matter what individuals or organizations are the main and direct cause of this massacre, the failure and inability of the security apparatus to identify and destroy terrorist cells and establish security and stability is not something that can be hidden or denied. The Taliban called Ashraf Ghani’s government a “barrier to peace” and said that if he resigned, the group would be willing to work with and support the new government.
This stance means that the Taliban’s problem with Ashraf Ghani is as an individual, not as the official president of a state that the Taliban does not recognize and fights to overthrow, assassinate its employees and slaughter its armed forces. While many observers are skeptical about this, and Abdullah Abdullah; the head of the High Council for Reconciliation recently said that the issue is not just one person, and if the war is over the presence of one person in power, “maybe” that person will be willing to sacrifice and resign in respect of peace.
Experts, meanwhile, have questioned Ghani’s willingness to step down in order to achieve peace, saying that by personalizing the peace process and linking his survival to the survival of the republic, Ghani has somehow complicated the achievement of peace. It has led the Taliban to conclude that Ashraf Ghani and his government are blocking the way to peace and that there will be no peace until he steps down.
Thus, neither Ashraf Ghani’s presence as an “obstacle” to the peace process nor the Taliban’s “disbelief” in the process can be easily resolved, and this is one of the frustrating complexities and difficulties of the current peace process. And the outlook for the end of the war is ambiguous.
(Sahar News)

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