Pakistan plays an important force in Afghanistan peace process: Cheng Xizhong
BEIJING, Mar.2 (APP): Pakistan is an important neighbour of Afghanistan and will continue to play a pivotal role in the peace and reconciliation process in that country, Cheng Xizhong, visiting professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law said on Monday.
“Pakistan is an important neighbor of Afghanistan. I believe that Pakistan will continue to play an important role in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan and continue to support the establishment of a peaceful, stable, unified, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan,” he said in his news article published in China Economic Net.
While commenting on the peace agreement signed between the United States and the Afghan Taliban in Doha, the capital of Qatar on Saturday, he said under the agreement, the United States would gradually reduce its troops in Afghanistan, and foreign troops are expected to withdraw completely within 14 months.
The Afghan Taliban has promised not to provide asylum for terrorists.
Although the Afghanistan war has lasted for more than 18 years, the United States failed to eliminate the Taliban. Against this backdrop, the U.S. resorted to holding peace talks with Afghan Taliban, whose regime was overthrown by the United States in 2001.
The peace talks with Taliban began October 2018, and after nine rounds of negotiations, the two sides decided to sign the agreement in September 2019.
However, a u-turn occurred when Donald Trump announced at the last moment that “the peace talks are dead” because American soldiers were allegedly killed by Taliban attack.
And since then the peace talks was suspended for three months.
On November 28, 2019, Trump unexpectedly paid a visit to Afghanistan and held a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani, on which occasion Trump expressed his solicitude for the U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and claimed the U.S. side was willing to restart the dialogue with the Taliban.
In February, 2020, the negotiations achieved remarkable progress, with two sides reaching a temporary ceasefire agreement. Seven days later, the United States and the Taliban finally signed the peace agreement.
The Afghanistan war, which has lasted for more than 18 years, was extremely costly. Nearly 3,500 soldiers of NATO allied forces were killed, including more than 2,300 U.S. soldiers.
It is estimated that 42,000 Taliban soldiers lost their lives for this war. At the same time, the war has caused immeasurable damage to the peace, stability and socio-economic development in South Asia, especially Pakistan.
Now that it’s been proved problems in Afghanistan cannot be solved through war, the United States chose to negotiate with the Taliban.
But the condition is that foreign troops must withdraw first from Afghanistan. In this case, the United States exerted pressure on Pakistan, expecting Pakistan could mediate between the two sides.
To promote peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and the United States, the international community, especially Pakistan, played an extremely important role.
“I believe that the key to the further progress of the peace process in Afghanistan lies in the sincerity of the United States, and its earnest implementation of the commitment to withdrawing troops completely from Afghanistan. If the United States wants to maintain its military influence and political control over Afghanistan, it will be very difficult for Afghanistan to truly embark on the path of peaceful development.”
“Afghan led and Afghan-owned” is the right direction of the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
Only with total elimination of the interference of external forces can negotiations among all Afghan factions, especially between the Taliban and the Kabul government, be carried out smoothly. The same applies for the peace and stability process in Afghanistan.
With Taliban deal, US shifts away from two decades of global war