Resuming the stalled peace process between Taliban & the Afghan government

By Nasurullah Brohi

The success or failure of any negotiations between two parties mainly depends upon the notion that each side is fully competent and authorized to implement the accords and the decisions amongst its followers.

The emergence of headship quandary between the fractions of the Afghan Taliban as a result of the news of Mullah Muhammad Omar’s death was seen as initiation of the race to take-over as Taliban’s leader. Though initially, a major segment of Taliban proclaimed that Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was their leader who also had dramatically managed to dominate the group’s Supreme Council during the last few years. This divide between the Taliban was further deepened when Sayed Tayab Agha resigned from Qatar office as a result of his protest against the way Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was selected Taliban’s leader and secondly, the opposition of Mullah Akhtar’s leadership by one of the prominent Taliban figures and Commander Masnoor Dadullah whose views were Mullah Yaqoob (the son of the deceased Mullah Omer) was their actual leader.

Such voices against the credibility of the selection of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor put some sober question marks over the group’s full consent and the success of recent talks hosted by Pakistan between the Afghan Government and the Afghan Taliban. Likewise, these drawbacks in the group brought serious implications for the ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government whereas, prior to that the first round of talks went smooth on July 7th in Pakistan and the second round was also scheduled on 31st July but due to the crisis of leaderships the talks were halted and it was strongly believed that the fraction between the Taliban would weaken and further divide the group into a main group led by Mullah Akhtar Mansoor and two or three splinter groups led by Mullah Yaqub and some other Taliban leaders and as a result, the feeble situation of Taliban would encourage some other insurgent groups to dominate the situation.

Previously, after the success of first round of talks on July 7, both parties had shown consent about the development of CBMS and agreed to come across with a cease fire agreement by the upcoming round of talks which was halted because of the death news about the Mullah Omer which resulted in the delay in talks and a discontent about the Taliban’s new leadership. This crisis severely affected the ongoing peace process and particularly, after the recent attacks and suicide bombings in Afghanistan, the future of talks has further become uncertain.

However, but the recent development by the deceased Taliban leader’s family to declare their allegiance to Mullah Akhtar Mansoor is seen as a ray of hope for a political solution to a log-lasted core issue and resuming the stalled peace talks to end their internal discord that had divided the movement for months. Despite of all these issues, the United States and its Western allies have also been urging the Afghan government to resume the peace talks with the Taliban since an end to the talks would only encourage other groups like the Islamic State.

The previous peace talks hosted by Pakistan were some of the groundbreaking meeting that was also attended by the Chinese and the U.S officials. Pakistan has once again shown its willingness to facilitate the Afghanistan to settle down the core issues through political means and the process of peace talks. Before another round of Afghan reconciliation dialogue it should be made clear that the dialogue between the Taliban and Afghan government should be purely conducted and owned by the Afghan only, as it has to understand that the external parties could only smooth the process of Afghan reconciliation but cannot impose a solution of both parties.

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Nasurullah Brohi

Nasurullah Brohi works as a Research Fellow at the Strategic Vision Institute in Islamabad and can be reached at [email protected]

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