Nazar Mohammad Mutmaeen
Afghan writer and political Analyst based in Kabul
Taliban have had direct talks with Americans at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and there are hopes that these talks will be fruitful. To the extent of suggestion, as an Afghan, I would like to say that the Taliban have agreed to the participation of the representatives of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Pakistan in today’s meeting; in the case, the main problem is the presence of US/NATO forces in Afghanistan. For several times, Taliban and Americans, however, had direct discussions on the issue; hence, it would be far better if the Taliban could give consent to the participation of representatives of Afghan government instead of those of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Pakistan.
In my opinion, the main point of today’s meeting will be to put pressure on Taliban through different means in order the way to be paved for direct talks with representatives of the Afghan government.
If Taliban, whenever, expressed preparedness for talks with Afghan government as a result of the US, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Emirates pressures; it would be good if Taliban could demonstrate the willingness before today’s meeting, and could say that we prefer to have one-to-one direct talks with Afghan government without the pressure of other countries, and would like to measure the power and authority of it when it comes to the peace.
As the United States have had direct talks with Taliban for more than five times where the Taliban have tried to show themselves as powerful; so if they sit on a table with the representatives of Afghan government and the leaders of Afghan political groups without the pressure of other countries, and in accordance with their own conditions and decisions, it will be, then, considered as a development toward peace, and, eventually, it is a need at the end of the day.
The Afghan nation is concerned about the decent outcomes of every kind of game where Pakistan is involved in; we have the virulent and futile experiences of the Mujahedeen times in front of us.
Whether intentionally or due to the agreement of US and Russians, the Afghan Mujahedeen were not able to represent the Afghan nation in a good manner for the sake of putting an end to the war against Russians; instead of them, Pakistan made decision on Afghan-Russia war in Geneva, where, as a consequence, we (Afghans) remained in war due to the agreement (1988).
If Taliban are impelled to, as result of the pressure of other countries, or intentionally made a mistake on the peace issue; they would, then, follow the footprints of Mujahedeen and will make an irreparable political blunder that will cause in the Afghan nation to remain in war for years to come, or to facilitate the ground for the presence of America which, in return, will provide the regional countries with a chance to intervene in our affairs alibiing the opposition with presence of American troops. At that juncture, there would be insecurity and Afghans would be victims of wars between other countries.
I think Americans are agonized regarding the Moscow-format meeting; thus, the US has put pressure on Pakistan through various means and asked for the cooperation of Saudi Arabia and UAE in the process. Hence, the Taliban representatives are supposed to not neglect the sacrifices, tragedies, killings and displacements that the Afghan people have been suffering since last 17 years, and to not repeat the mistakes that the leaders of Mujahedeen had made because of the pressures of some countries.
We appreciate every kind of peace-related effort; however, it is worth mentioning that allowing the US allies (countries) in the peace talks will comfort the talks to be in favor of the United States.
The UAE Meeting revealed that the US is adroitly stultifying the efforts of Moscow, China, Central Asia, Turkey, Qatar and Iran on Afghan peace talks. Although, none of these countries consider our interests regarding the Afghan peace, they might be seeking for their own interests and privileges. On other hand, in the case that direct talks between Taliban and Americans have already begun, Afghans are asking that whether the meeting held in UAE attributable to the intermediation of Pakistan will be in benefit of Taliban or the countries participated there.
It seems that UAE Meeting on Afghan peace will generate benefit to Pakistan and its allies (Saudi Arabia and UAE) only, as it shows the US that it encourages the Taliban to make a deal with America; however, the Taliban will be losers in the process as the countries who oppose the US military presence in the region will challenge the US interests there, and thus, will become skeptical of Taliban, and so, will take distance from the Taliban again.
Undoubtedly, Iran as well as Turkey will be made concerned by the participation of representatives of Saudi Arabia and UAE in the UAE Meeting.
And, Moscow, who wished to challenge the monopoly of the United States, held the Moscow-format Meeting and provided the opportunity for Taliban representatives to participate in the meeting despite the US and UN pressure, will also become skeptical of the new US efforts.