Before starting the discussion on the Peace Deal between the US and the Taliban, it is necessary to discuss the emergence of the Taliban, the role of the US in the emergence of Taliban and consequences thereafter.
In December 1979, amidst the Cold War, the Soviet 40th Army attacked Afghanistan so as to prop up the communist government of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) against a developing insurgency. At the time, the United States had been making progress in the Middle East to Moscow’s detriment, effectively seeking Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others. The Soviet Union dreaded the loss of its communist proxy in Afghanistan.
In this way, through the span of the 1980s, the Soviet Union poured in billions of dollars (US) into the war in Afghanistan, and at its pinnacle, in excess of 100,000 Soviet warriors were battling in the country. However, the Afghan opposition (the mujahideen) was intensely bolstered by a wide assortment of worldwide entertainers, including the US, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, and Egypt. In the end, the mujahideen won and the Soviet Army had to pull back from Afghanistan in February 1989, having lost many thousands executed and wounded. Even after the breakdown of the Soviet Union, Moscow kept on providing and arm the communist system of Dr. Najibullah, yet this was insufficient, and Kabul tumbled to the mujahideen in 1992.
The distinctive mujahideen groups couldn’t concur on the most proficient method to share power, and the nation immediately plummeted into a ridiculous civil war. In 1994, a development of Pashtun fundamentalist understudies the majority of whom were trained in madrasas (religious schools) in the outcast camps in Pakistan held onto Kandahar and began a crusade to wrest the nation from the hands of the warlords. Known as the Taliban, this power walked into Kabul in 1996 and assumed responsibility for a large portion of the remainder of the nation by 1998. Many mujahideen warlords had to escape toward the north, where they joined the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan or Northern Alliance, drove by Burhanuddin Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Massoud. Even however Rabbani and Massoud’s Jamiat-e Islami was one of the principle mujahideen groups answerable for the destruction of the Soviet Army during the 1980s, Moscow chose to lend its help toward the Northern Alliance, as did Iran, India, and others. Russia would not like to see a fundamentalist state rise in Afghanistan. All the more significantly, the Taliban and their al-Qaeda partners were giving training and haven to Chechen radicals, Central Asian aggressors, and others whom Moscow regarded as a risk.
In short, we can say that the Taliban was formed with the help of the CIA and its Pakistani counterpart, the Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI).
After the attack of 9/11, the US started a war against the Taliban because the mastermind(Al-Qaeda) of the 9/11 attack was the ally of the Taliban and the Taliban rejected the demand of the US to give up Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
After a 19 year long war, the peace process has finally started by the recently signed US-Taliban pact which was declared “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” in the 4-page agreement. The longest ever war that the US has fought so far had cost it so many things. It had lost some 2400 soldiers, and around $3 Trillion. It has only destroyed life, limb, and property. All these things are known to everybody and everyone has done a comprehensive analysis of the loss caused to both the ends. The crucial question is whether this will turn out to be a cornerstone in establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan? Everybody hopes that it should, but it is the question which will be answered in the future. However, the deal between both the US and the Taliban gives hope and a little assurance that peace will prevail. This pact is just a first step in this direction. More is about to come. The proposed intra-Afghan talks is another crucial point, which will turn the pace of the prevailing situation.
It is not the first negotiation for peace between the US and the Taliban. In the past, many attempts were made to bring peace in Afghanistan but failed due to various reasons. The current agreement also failed at first when US President Donald Trump dropped the plan in 2019. But efforts were made after many failures to complete the deal and here it is before everyone. The fate of the agreement and therefore of Afghanistan depends upon several things. Most of them have been settled in the Agreement. The agreement has been reached on the ceasefire with immediate effects. The US has agreed to withdraw its and allies’ forces in the coming days though in phrased manner. It will reduce the counting of troops to 8600 within 135 days and the rest in the coming 14 months. Perspicuous provision has also been made for Intra-Afghan negotiations in the highly celebrated “Peace Pact”. The main issue of distress for the US has been given special space in the Agreement. Taliban has assured in the pact that it will not let Afghan land to be used as a haven for terrorists. Special reference has been made to Al-Qaeda and ISIS. The US was equally concerned for the rights of women of Afghanistan. During their regime in the late 1990s what the Taliban had done against the women and their education is well known to the world. Keeping this in mind the US asked for the assurance from the Taliban’s side. Apart from all these, the agreement has also been reached on the exchange of some 5000 Taliban fighters with around 1000 soldiers.
PEACE OR CONFLICT?
What is more important here is that- “what will happen now”? Will there be peace in the region in general and Afghanistan in particular? These questions are there in everyone’s mind. There is apprehension in the mind of people and even in the minds of scholars and experts about the fulfillment of the provisions of the agreement. Apprehensions are not vexatious rather they are palpable. In the entire process of negotiations and consideration, there was a clear absence of the State representation of the present regime in Afghanistan. This may lead to a sense of ignorance amongst the state administration which may lead to savage consequences to the agreement. Whatever happens, that will be depending upon the fact that how religiously the agreement has been brought to fruition.
There are some challenges which will decide the fate of this “peace pact”. These are:
I. There are many things which are still to be worked out during the proposed Intra-Afghan Negotiations like power-sharing amongst all the stakeholders during the talks. Anyone influential stakeholder cannot be left behind otherwise there will always be a threat to the peace of the region which is the soul of this agreement.
II. Also, it needs to be solved with caution that what will be the future of democratic institutions and the Constitution. Taliban is predominantly controlled by the Islamic fundamentalists who still have deep faith in the Shariat and it was manifested by them during negotiations. Disarming and reintegrating Taliban fighters into society are some other challenges that need to be addressed.
III. The ongoing political situation and recent Presidential elections have been a bone of contention between the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and President Ashraf Ghani. Amidst all this chaos negotiations with the Taliban are going to be interesting. Taliban is now stronger than it was ever in the past either militarily or economically. It has also gained control over more areas.
This historical agreement has been a very long time really in taking shape, as all sides kept looking for an advantage in the combat zone. The agreement is conceived of America’s assurance to bring troops home and an acknowledgment, at any rate by some Taliban, that discussions are the best course to come back to Kabul. It’s a noteworthy step forward, notwithstanding profound vulnerability and incredulity over where it will lead. At the point when the main option is the ceaseless war, numerous Afghans appear to be prepared to face this challenge for harmony. Taliban leaders state they’ve changed since their unforgiving standard of the 1990s despite everything sung in the memory of many, and above all Afghan ladies. This procedure will test the Taliban yet in addition veteran Afghan leaders of the past, and another age which has grown up over the last two decades and is daring to dream for an alternate future.
There can be no doubt that this peace agreement is a welcome step in the right direction. However, the rest of its direction will be decided by the “KARMA” of the parties and how they fulfill the agreement. Its success depends on the future course of action. The agreement is just the tip of the iceberg. More concrete and fruitful tasks are to be done to make this agreement successful in the letter and spirit by all the stakeholders.
However, we are not seeing any development, and the people of Afghanistan are dying from the Taliban attacks. After the inauguration of America’s new President Joe Biden, hopes are still alive but for now, that deal is only a dead letter.
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