(Part II) Afghanistan a war-torn country yearns for peace. Life in Afghanistan has been paralyzed. Its economy is in tatters. Almost ninety percent of its GDP comes from foreign funding. Unemployment ratio is skyrocketing. Fifty percent of its population is unemployed. In the country, suicide bombing, bloodshed, and massacre of innocent people are norms of day. The Taliban and al Qaeda have ruined the country. Now Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) a militant group has been trying to hold it influence in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the physical feature and the geostrategic position of Afghanistan absolutely suit to ISILs nefarious agendas and aims. In this sorry state of affairs of Afghanistan, it earnestly needs peace. It is high time for peace in Afghanistan.
Prospects for peace in Afghanistan:
Though clouds for peace in Afghanistan are bleak yet there are some silver lines for peace process in Afghanistan. Earlier a few stakeholders wanted peace for Afghanistan. But now ground realities have drastically changed. Presently a number of parties want peaceful and stable Afghanistan. The stakeholders are China, Russia, the US, Iran, India, Pakistan, and astonishingly even the Taliban.
China earlier stayed aloof from the conflict of Afghanistan. Now it yens for peace in Afghanistan .Uighur militancy is a formidable threat to the security of China. Uyghur gets assistance from Afghan Taliban. Growing militancy of Uyghurs in its Xingjang province has compelled China to look for peaceful Afghanistan. Additionally, china has political and economic interests in Afghanistan. China looks for stable Afghanistan as a gateway to Central Asia for its ambitious one belt one road initiative. China has invested a significant amount of resources in Afghanistan to exploit its the mineral wealth.
Increasing stronghold of the militant group ISIL in Afghanistan poses an alarming threat to the security and sovereignty of Russia. Its fearful about wicked aims of monster ISIL in Afghanistan. It’s the main reason which has forced Russia to be closer to the Taliban, a former arch enemy of Russia. Its rightly said that there is no permanent friend or foe in international relations. However, some geopolitical analysts claim that Russia would use the Taliban as pressure group against America for its vested interests.
The US a major stakeholder for peaceful and stable Afghanistan has been thinking to resend more troops to Afghanistan. The US has miserably detained itself in Afghan conflict like in Vietnam War. Now it also earnestly wants peaceful and stable Afghanistan. America could not bear more cost of Afghan war.
The Taliban who fights with Kabul as well as foreign forces yearns for peace in Afghanistan on their own conditions. The Taliban and other militant groups have been fighting with each other. The ISIL is deemed a big threat to existence of Taliban in Afghanistan. The ISIL has been struggling to hold its influence in Afghanistan. But the Taliban has been trying its best to eliminate ISIL from the soil of Afghanistan. It is very difficult for the Taliban at a one time to fight with the US forces, the Kabul government and the militant ISIL group. Therefore, the Taliban gravely crave for peace in Afghanistan. It is the cause the Haze bi Islami, Afghan militant group, headed by Gulbideen Hakmatyar surrendered to Kabul government in September in 2016.
Pakistan another stakeholder for peaceful and stable Afghanistan covets for peace in Afghanistan. Peaceful Afghanistan is more beneficial for Pakistan than any other country. Pakistan shares porous border with Afghanistan. Pakistan is unable to crush TTP a militant group which has waged war against the state of Pakistan. After attacking Islamabad they usually flee to Afghanistan. If peace comes in Afghanistan, Pakistan would also be peaceful. Growing militancy and terrorism in Pakistan is due to instability in Afghanistan. Therefore, Pakistan is also trying its best for peace settlement in Afghanistan.
The people of Afghanistan also abjectly need peace. Thirty five years long war in Afghanistan has tired the people of Afghanistan. Unfortunately now even birds of the country do not fright from shoots of guns. The people demand peace.
Peace in Afghanistan is not only helpful for development and stability of the region but for the whole world. International community has applied all means for the resolution of the Afghanistan conflict including, force, negotiations and some times dual policy of force and talks, deplorably none has succeeded in its goal i.e. peace in Afghanistan. In my opinion, peace in Afghanistan is only possible when neighboring and near neighboring countries of Afghanistan compromise on their interest for common good i.e. peace and security of the region. Fortunately, some neighbors such as Pakistan, china, Russia and Iran have shown some degree of compromise for their interests. Hence, peace in Afghanistan is at hands.
By Sattar Kingrani