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Ghani's Reluctance to Support Intra-Afghan Talks

Feature: Ghani’s Reluctance to Support ‘Intra-Afghan’ Peace Talks

The disagreement between President Ghani and a delegation of US diplomats who are working to end the longest US war seems to be at the highest level. The friction did not appear before, but now it is tense, as Ghani has shown clear reluctance to support their stance.
The disagreement of Ghani with American diplomats to end afghan conflict was highlighted in his recent televised address to nation regarding on-going peace talks. He said that the continuation of war prevents the formation of a strong government which is one of the main objectives of the enemies of country.
Emphasizing that the Afghan nation wants peace and reconciliation with a proper plan, President Ghani said the government insists on a peace deal with proper plans to prevent the bitter experience of the former government led by Dr. Najeebullah who was deceived, and the deal led to a catastrophe despite United Nations (UN) had given him assurances.
Ghani’s emphasis on tactics rather than a rush in diplomacy to end Afghan conflict also reflects the serious controversy between the United States and the Presidential Palace. Moreover, Pakistan’s involvement in the peace talks has further discomforted him. Though Pakistan seems to have played a very positive role so far. It has completed its promises of bringing Taliban to the table. Previously, Ghani was insistent that Pakistan does not support in bringing Taliban to the table; and now when they have done so, he is insistent otherwise. In fact, he is being left out of the process, and this discomforts him to a great extent and worries him about his political future.
The reality is that Washington emphasizes on intra-Afghan peace talks. The Americans also want to bring Taliban on table with Afghan government in order to agree on future politics of Afghanistan.
Taliban have denied several times to talk with Afghan government. They only mention in their statements to have peace talks with political movements and parties in Afghanistan about the future politics of the country. The unofficial spokesperson for this group insists that Taliban leaders have realized the Islamic Emirates was not a successful experience for Afghanistan and in the political future of Afghanistan, all groups, including the Taliban, should be involved and agree on a new political and legal system.
They also mentioned in Moscow summit that in the political future of Afghanistan, Taliban want to negotiate will political parties in Afghanistan. In their previous talks, they called for interim government which should include all the parties including Taliban. Later on, this interim government may provide the opportunity to form new political system, they argued.
On the other side, Washington is impatient to end the Afghan conflict. They are not much against Taliban’s demand in which all sides including this group’s involvement in peace talks is concerned, even if, the Afghan government’s recent demands are declined in this process. This is the reason that Washington uses the term intra-Afghan dialogues.
The National Unity Government (NUG) leaders, particularly, president Ghani wants that Taliban as a political movement should talk with Afghan government as a state. This is what the Taliban do not want and the United States may have concluded that Taliban cannot be convinced to do so.
The plan that president Ghani proposed in Geneva conference, if implemented, will take five years to complete. But the Americans do not agree with this plan. The US delegation are considering other option, which should be able to give positive result in short time.
The US delegation on Afghan reconciliation might have told him to accept the intra-Afghan dialogues, and Washington and international community’s guarantees to end the current war. Accepting this proposal will lead to formulation of an interim government and Ghani will lose his presidency. While, he is thinking of second term as president after the July 20 presidential poll, but if the so-called intra-Afghan dialogues is implemented, he will lose his monopoly on Afghan politics.
Many political movements, parties and even individuals in Afghanistan are no more allies with Ghani. The members of NUG are not on the same page regarding Ghani’s stance. CEO Abdullah Abdullah, and his deputy Mohaqiq are particularly against Ghani’s policies. First Vice President Dostum has also chosen a separate way from Ghani and his supported candidate for the presidential election is now in a different team. Though Second Vice President Sarwar Danish has registered to run election as Second Vice President in Ghani’s team, his actual backer and supporter, Khalili has also left Ghani and now his supported candidate is in another team.
Ghani, in desperation, has chosen to join hands with his previous critic, Amrullah Saleh, who could be seen criticizing Ghani at every platform. Ghani and Saleh’s friendship is nothing more than a temporary adventure, undertaken for political reasons. In fact, Ghani seemed to have no other option after being left isolated in Afghanistan’s political environment.
Even today, Ghani has no proper strategy to deal with the situation, though he claims to have a plan. Even his mates do not see eye to eye with him; and this makes it very difficult for his rivals to do so either. Taliban do not consider him as the legitimate representative of the people of Afghanistan, and unfortunately, his attitude and incapacity have left no margin for him to gain true representation and legitimacy.
(Sahar News)

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