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Taliban Blame Kabul for Cancelation of Qatar Meeting

Feature: Afghan Delegation and Doha Summit

A list of the 250 people was introduced by the Afghan government who were scheduled to attend the Doha Summit to talk to the Taliban, which was also the reason that talks were canceled at the last moment. Taliban ridiculed the number of negotiators and Qatari sponsorship for the talks rejected the list with so many individuals. However, it is time to talk about who all the people in their names list are. It can be said that the list is made up of incoherent individuals and is not quantitatively similar to the interlocutors, but rather as a “parliament”.
Given that opponents of the government are also listed, it cannot be said that the list is hundred percent government members. But the composition of the list indicates that the government has made the list long so that it can include its own people in it.
Earlier this week, Arg held a meeting under the name of the Second Meeting of Consultative Council, which finalized the names of the members who were to hold talks with Taliban. The names of opposed government figures, such as Hanif Atmar, Atta Mohammad Noor, Ismail Khan, Mohaqiq and others were listed as members of the Council, and the government had no choice but to create a situation to hamper the developments taking place for the talks.
The Taliban group had previously announced that people introduced by the government at a Qatari meeting will not speak to delegation as the government representative, but as individuals. This challenged the government to select individuals for the list that could defend its stance and at the same time respond to the requirements of political opposition. For this reason, the government included the names of its opposing political figures on the list.
Due to the heterogeneous composition of the 250-member list, there will not be a single agenda for the meeting. Most likely, the people present at the Doha Summit, each with a dispersed version, will come up with their own views that will not be expected to yield a single result. It is also likely that some of the people included in the list will refuse to attend the summit.
One hypothesis is that Zalmai Khalilzad, the US Department of State’s Special Representative for Afghanistan’s Peace, at previous meetings with the Taliban, has agreed on a series of important issues requiring a government delegation to sign an agreement. It seems that the government has taken this hypothesis seriously and has, therefore, tried to include its people in a list that could influence the summit, and if could even disapprove the agreements if they are not in line with the will of the government.
One of the criticisms that Ashraf Ghani had, in relation to Khalilzad’s peace talks with the Taliban, was that Khalilzad’s meetings with the Taliban were behind closed doors, and they did not enjoy national and popular legitimacy. Khalilzad then argued that the process of peace talks with the Taliban would be attended by representatives of all sectors of Afghan society and endorsed by all political and ethnic group. This will pave the way for further plans, and the Afghan government will inevitably be aligned with the plans of the US.
The question now is whether the Doha Summit participants will be able to defend a series of political and civilian principles and values that are the achievements of the past eighteen years of Afghanistan and make it the red line for the Afghan people in the future political developments? This question cannot be answered with certainty. Although certain people in the government are trying to protect the achievements of the past eighteen years with the desire to maintain their own power in political arena; therefore, government officials in the Doha Summit will most likely insist on this issue. But, on the other hand, many political groups would not be hoping to insist on this position. This can be due to two reasons: one is that the emphasis on retaining the achievements of the past eighteen years is more to mean maintaining the status of the leaders of the government; second, because of the heterogeneity of the members of the meeting, the single emphasis on this position is difficult.
Among the people whose names appear on the list, there are faces with religious, jihadist and ethnic orientations, for which the preservation of the achievements of the past eighteen years is neither a priority, nor it has any significance for them. They are thinking more of how to preserve their religious, ethnic and social authority.
The only worrying issue at this conference is the emergence of conflicting voices from the Kabul delegation that participates in the conference. We all know that the internal differences of the political factions are on the rise. Neither the factions within the government are in a good position, nor opposition parties outside the government have a pre-defined and coherent views.
While the Afghan government and political leaders have come to an agreement on issues such as maintaining the constitution, preserving the political system, preserving human rights and civil liberties and the media, there may still be some people among the board members who are in favor of the Taliban and its supporters, and thus the agreed principles would be violated.
Therefore, efforts are being made to bring joint and shared views to the conference by delegations from Kabul to represent the government and the people. The voice of unity on behalf of the people at the Doha Conference can keep them strong and bring them under a large umbrella. Only then will Taliban and their supporters take the other side seriously; otherwise, they will never be taken seriously, and each will return to the country shamefully.
(Sahar News)

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