Letters: “Will there be peace once Taliban and Afghan government sit side by side?”

By: Safar Ali Amin

Many people have started to worry about what is next for millions of Afghans inside and outside the country after a deal was signed between the US and the Taliban. Ordinary Afghans are almost unheard of what is going on behind closed doors.

In recent history, two events have deeply carved on psyche of Afghanistan’s people: December 25, 1979 and October 07, 2001. The first one was when the then supreme power, biggest empire of the planet, the USSR or Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan aiming to boost to its swaying power in southeastern Asia. It was pushed back but at a huge price of collective suffering of my people. The second event was shaped again by another boasting super power of the world, the United States of America and its allies. In a hasty move, they invaded Afghanistan “to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations”, as was declared by former US President George Bush.

And now, nearly 19 years after collapse of the Taliban regime, spending almost two trillion USD, killing and wounding hundreds of thousands of Afghan civilians, losing more than 50 thousands Afghan national army troops, and thousands of foreign soldiers that were deployed to win the “war against terror”, the US and the Taliban sat side by side and signed a “peace deal”.

But do the people of Afghanistan trust the Taliban? What about those thousands of Taliban fighters that have fought Afghan forces? Will those millions residing outside the country return once the intra-Afghan peace process reaches its desired destination? Will there be peace once the Taliban and the Afghan government—an inclusive government—sit side by side? These are the questions, though central to a fully comprehensive analysis of the ongoing process, are often neglected or simply overlooked.
Simply, we don’t know much about the internal substructure of Taliban as a group. Though they demonstrated their unity during the week-long Reduction in Violence (RIV), but it is to be learnt once they join the government. And, on the other hand, the Afghan government doesn’t seem to have any comprehensive program regarding the Taliban fighters once they retreat from battlefields.

The return of millions of Afghan refugees from neighboring countries is still in obscurity. Suppose the peace deal is made and millions returned to Afghanistan, what program does the government have to provide for their livelihoods? Their return depends on the success of post-deal government, and its capability to manage housing and shelter for returnees.
Keeping all these points under consideration, the peace seems to be a very long-term project, and success of post-deal ‘all-inclusive’ Afghan government seems to be highly dependent on international aid and funds in all sectors of life.

Safar Ali Amin is a high school graduate.