Afghan Peace Process In Doldrums Once Again

Afghan Crisis- Critical Update 02

Reporting further on our first critical update posted on Thursday September 05, at 2215 hrs, this Saturday US president shocked the world when he abruptly called off secret meeting with Taliban at Camp David! 

Taliban and US were as close as the next Saturday to formally announce their peace deal after several rounds of talks and conferences in Doha, Russia, China, Pakistan, parts of Europe and Afghanistan. However, this unpredictability of US President Donald Trump’s decisions is what the SCF believes have recently kept strongest of US allies from taking part in any coalition against Iran in the Persian Gulf, siding with Pyongyang or Washington in ongoing US-North Korea denuclearisation talks, and so far accepting placement of Intermediate range US missiles after US recently unilaterally abandoned the INF treaty. Not surprisingly, this is not the first time Donald Trump has taken a complete U-turn on state policies recently, as imposing of new tariffs by US in US-China Trade war starting in 2018 and pulling out of Iran nuclear deal in the same year are other stark examples plunging the whole world in new conflicts at new frontiers. 

Earlier this week on Thursday when SCF reported Mike Pompeo declining to sign the deal on the pretext that it has to come from US President or may be as a joint statement in a presser, it was a sign that things are no more in place to move forward for a deal. 

The US-backed government in Kabul of Mr. Ashraf Ghani and even his challenger in upcoming elections Mr. Rahmatullah Nabi, had always eyed the deal with deep unease and long complained of being sidelined from the talks.

“We have always insisted that real peace can only be achieved if the Taliban stop killing Afghans and accept a ceasefire, and face-to-face talks with the Afghan government,” the statement from Ghani’s office said.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday did not rule out reopening talks with the Taliban if they make a “significant commitment,” after President Donald Trump cancelled a secret meeting with their leaders at his Camp David retreat. Trump said he was canceling the talks because the Taliban, who have never halted their campaign of violence, had killed a US serviceman in a car bombing on Thursday in Kabul, whereas on the other hand as SCF see it, each week in Afghanistan, hundreds of Afghan civilians are dying because of this war and US have cancelled the all important talks after 19 years of war on the pretext of killing of their one serviceman. 

The Taliban said the US “will be harmed more than anyone” but left the door open for future negotiations. The statement further said that the US’s “credibility will be harmed, their anti-peace stance will become more visible to the world, their casualties and financial losses will increase, and the US role in international political interaction will be discredited even further.”

Taliban fighters, who now control more territory than at any time since 2001, launched fresh assaults on the northern Afghan cities of Kunduz and Pul-e Khumri over the past week and carried out two major suicide bombings in the capital Kabul. Recent tweet of Trump on abandoning the deal has once again left Afghan future shrouded in uncertainty. 

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