Peace Negotiations without Pakistan!

With the establishment of the Unity Government in Afghanistan, the most important diplomatic step taken after signing security agreement with America and NATO was, reviewing ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Ashraf Ghani had experience of his predecessor; Hamid Karzai, during his Presidency, had 15 visits to Islamabad, however, he did not become succeeded in convincing Pakistan in order to stop supporting the Taliban. And, the relations with Pakistan remained chilly as well in last days of his government.   

Although, the new government is not united and its officials have to have an understanding in every matter; however, it looks like that both of the teams (President Ghani and CEO Abdullah’s) were agreed upon establishing close relations with Pakistan, and this agreement was originated from the recommendation of the United States that Afghanistan should solve its problems with Pakistan through negotiations. 

It was expected that the policy on having close ties with Pakistan would resulted soon after the visits of President Ghani and Pakistani officials to each other’s countries. The first meeting on ending the long war in Afghanistan was held in China’s Urumqi as result of Pakistan’s intercession; these negotiations were held between the representatives of Afghanistan and the Taliban in Islamabad.     

Suspension of Negotiations

Whereas, the next round of negotiations between Afghanistan and the Taliban were expected to have significant results and especially the “ceasefire” request was going to be made by Afghanistan to the Taliban, however, revealing the news on death of Mullah Mohammad Omar sabotaged these negotiations. The gathering of Taliban, near the Quetta City of Pakistan, in order to pledge their allegiance to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, once again, made the Kabul government to accuse Pakistan with supporting the Taliban.         

Heavy explosions in Kabul and seize of Musa Qala District of Helmand province by Taliban show that Taliban, despite having inner disputes, have not brought change in their thoughts regarding war. Herewith, Pakistan, once again, became accused of having hand in insecurities in Afghanistan and the relations went caliginous, then. 

The Anti-Pakistan Propaganda

Gen. Dostum arrived in the North of the country in order to fight against the Taliban who made Faryab province insecure; he, in his every speech to the people and in front of media, claimed that his war is not against Taliban, but, his war is against Pakistan and ISI. Even he claimed that the war against him in Faryab was leaded by a Pakistani general. [1]

Start of filling of Salma Dam reservoir in Western Heart province in such a critical stage caused wide propaganda in benefit of India in social media, and burning of Pakistani flag in Kabul and some provinces and upraising of Indian flag made Pakistan angry more than ever.     

A campaign against importing Pakistani products started in social media which affected the government, also. Even, some groups got admission for fighting against Pakistan and by this, close ties between two countries that were expected to be lasting forever, suddenly, gone worse than Hamid Karzai’s era. [2]  

However, it looks like that relations between both countries, despite tensions, have opportunities to become improved. Sartaj Aziz, advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on National Security and Foreign Affairs had participated in RECCA Conference in Kabul and had meetings on improving relations between both countries with Afghan officials in sidelines of this meeting.    

Regional rivalries

During Urumqi and Islamabad meetings, the representative of China was sitting alongside with the US onlooker representative, and it itself shows that America gives importance to the role of China in these negotiations. Recently, Chinese ambassador to Kabul, in a press conference held in Kandahar, said that China will try to make Pakistan to have a joint cooperation with Afghanistan and China in struggle against terrorism.  

On other side, however, the rivalry between India and China is shown inconspicuous, but, India is not satisfied with role of Pakistan and China in issues of Afghanistan and it thinks that it is losing the ground of Afghanistan to Pakistan. The Indian Foreign Minister announced that he is going to participate in the RECCA meeting in Kabul; this is not unrelated with concerns of New Delhi ever.    

Susan Rice’s Visit to Pakistan

America pressed Pakistan that if it wants the American financial assistance of hundred millions of dollars to be continued to Pakistan, then, it should to take specific and serious measures in war on terrorism. U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice in her visit to Pakistan raised the allegations of Afghanistan against Pakistan with its officials and urged Pakistan to take serious steps toward tackling terrorism. She, also, urged Pakistan to take serious action against the Haqqani Network that is held responsible for complex attacks in Afghanistan.       

Then, advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz said, Pakistan has eliminated the Haqqani Network inside Pakistan and it is not operated in Pakistan anymore. It is gone to Afghanistan now.  

Ms. Rice’s visit to Pakistan is sign of America’s concern on obscurity in relations between Islamabad and Kabul. Border conflicts between Afghanistan and Pakistan has worsened the situation and, this issue, itself, is one of the reasons behind Susan Rice’s visit to Pakistan. From the other hand, America wants to motivate China to play more active role in Afghanistan’s peace process.    

However, the visit of Ms. Rice should not be considered just as an intermediate mission in order for removing tensions between Islamabad and Kabul but she wants to improve relations between India and Pakistan, also. Tension in relations between Delhi and Islamabad is one of the reasons behind insecurity in South Asia and America wishes both countries having nuclear weapons to solve their problem on the issue of Kashmir.       

Moreover, one of Ms. Rice’s aims from visit to Pakistan was encouraging its officials to reinitiate peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban; this is possible only in the case, if relations between both countries normalized. From the other side, disputes in the ranks of the Taliban after the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar are problematic in this process, also.      

After Pakistan: What Next?

One of the High Peace Council’s members, Qazi Amin Weqad said that peace with the Taliban is impossible without Pakistan’s intercession. A member of the Afghan government’s delegation for peace talks with the Taliban also said that the Taliban are not a united group and we, definitely, do not know which one of these groups have authority regarding discussion on important issues like ceasefire. Hence, it is needed for Pakistan to contact those Taliban that have close relations with it in order to assure that those who participate in the negotiations, are real representatives of the Taliban. [3]   

From the other hand, CEO Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said that peace negotiations would not be prosecuted as a result of Pakistan’s intercession. He accused Pakistan with dishonesty. [4]  

The government of Afghanistan does not have specific policy toward peace; if it really does not want peace negotiations to be headed with Taliban without Pakistan, it is supposed to work on another policy, then. For example, it is should work on an inter-Afghan platform and give the authority for an impartial Afghan delegation meanwhile accepted by the Taliban in order to do intermediation in the peace negotiations.  

Civil societies and media alongside with disputes among the both teams in the government have impact on the policies of government toward peace. Some people believe that there would not be any improvement until the policies of government on peace with opposition are defined as a result of Facebook’s comments.

The End

[1] See online:

[2] see online:

[3] see online:

[4] see online:

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