The United States of America pulled out of the recent peace talks with the Taliban at the last moment. Apparently, the American government’s decision is a response to the Taliban attack in Kabul but in reality that might not be the case. Peace in Afghanistan is not that simple. In order to attain peace in Afghanistan in true sense, the following things need to be considered.
First of all, Afghanistan is a multi-linguistic and ethno diverse country. Besides being a strategically important country in the region, it has fourteen different ethnic groups as population. Geographically it is a connecting region between Asia and the energy rich Central Asian Countries.
Second, Taliban, a pushtun group, is not the only insurgent group in the country as ISIS is another terrorist organization that is active in Afghanistan. The stake holders need to understand the sensitivity of the situation. Taliban are in control of a larger part of the Afghan territory. If they are not brought back to the negotiating table, there is a possibility that they might in future take control over most of the area of Afghanistan. Another scenario can be that the Taliban join hands with other terrorist organizations and completely destroy the social fabric of the war torn country. Therefore, in order to bring peace to Afghanistan, one needs to understand that all ethnic groups existing in Afghanistan, particularly the Taliban have to be taken into confidence to unite against ISIS. So that they could gather their forces in order to drive ISIS bag and baggage out of Afghanistan, though presently Tajiks and Northern Alliance do not have good terms with the Taliban.
Third, an important factor to be considered is that different countries have their own stakes in this region. These countries will not want a stable Afghanistan because a stable and peaceful Afghanistan would bring an end to the proxy war they are indulged in. For example, India uses Afghan soil against Pakistan. India has invested so much in Afghanistan with the aim of influencing Afghan internal affairs, therefore, being kept out of the peace deal at the last moment is a great setback to Indian designs which is why it fanned the Kashmir issue. Also, it has eyes on the upcoming presidential elections as to which type of government will come into power. Iran supports the Northern Alliance against Taliban as it wants to have a Shia influence in the region. The United States wants to have presence in the region but can no longer continue fighting its self-created war, and is therefore is trying to decently move out with a meager amount of soldiers left behind. Similarly, Turkey, Russia and China have their own stakes in the region.
To cut it short, the unrest in Afghanistan is a part of the new Great Game. A peaceful Afghanistan can only be achieved if all nations involved in the race of gaining their influence in the region keep their own interests aside and think of saving lives of scores of people by becoming a part of the process to take Afghanistan on a road towards peace. Pakistan has always supported Afghanistan through thick and thin and has always come to the fore when it comes to peace negotiations in Afghanistan. Even in the recent peace talks, Pakistan played a commendable role to convince the Taliban for negotiations with the U.S government. Pakistan’s role has now become even more important in the current scenario as the Taliban have expressed willingness to resume negotiations with the U.S government because they are not willing to hold talks with the Afghan government, until a deal with the U.S government is finalized. Pakistan has always been a well-wisher for its Afghan brothers, therefore besides being a facilitator in the peace talks it should offer to host the peace talks once again. Similarly, Iran and other neighbors of Afghanistan should also participate in persuading other ethnic groups by using their influence over them, to work towards achieving a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.