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Sensitive stage of Afghan peace talks and unanswered questions

After arriving in the Qatari capital of Doha, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad wrote that he is planning to hold talks with high-ranking Taliban delegations. Khalilzad has written that negotiations between the US and Taliban have reached to a very significant and ticklish stage. Earlier, Khalilzad had said he has agreed on a gradual withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan and the removal of Taliban from the global Jihadism list, in talks with the representatives of Taliban’s supreme council, the Quetta Shura, in Qatar. In the next negotiations, they will confess on ways how to implement the reached agreement. It seems Taliban urges Washington to release a timetable of withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan. In return, Washington wants the Taliban to announce their disjunction with the global Jihadism.

The problem between the US and the Taliban emanates when the Taliban group joined to International Jihadism list. At the beginning of the Taliban’s operations in Afghanistan, Khalilzad published an article in a credible US newspaper, saying that the Taliban has nothing to do with anti-Western global Islamism. In that article, Khalilzad had advised the US to re-engage in Afghanistan and reconcile the anti-Taliban movement, which was stationed in northern parts of the country, with the Taliban in order to form a common government and to end the long-lasting war in the country. At that time, Osama bin Laden was newly introduced to the Taliban. Khalilzad had falsely supposed thatTaliban and the US have common interests in bin Laden’s deportations from Afghanistan. It is clear that Osama bin Laden came to Jalalabad, the provincial capital of eastern Nangarhar Province, from Sudan at the beginning of 1996, with the support of the leaders of a number of political parties. At that time, an aeroplane of Afghan Ariana Airlines deported from Afghan capital Kabul to Sudan’s capital Khartoum in order to bring him Jalalabad. The Aviation Minister of that time Dr Abdul Rahman had organized the plane’s flight to Dubai and then Sudan to bring bin Laden to Jalalabad.

Mr Khalilzad perhaps thought that bin Laden was not a Taliban ally but an ally of parties which were tended to the thoughts of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement that coordinated his return from Sudan to Jalalabad. At that time, Khalilzad wanted to establish close ties between the US and the Taliban in order to increase Washington’s influence on Taliban and then persuade the leaders of the group not to operate in northern parts of the country. He wanted to ask the Taliban representatives to sit with the north coalition leaders at the table of negotiations to reach an agreement to share the power.

At the end of 1996, Khalilzad believed that bin Laden’s expulsion from Afghanistan would bring peace to Afghanistan and strengthen the US influence on the country. Due to its oppressive support of anti-Soviet fighters, the US had an influence on most leaders of the parties of the time. But, the influence decreased day by day following the withdrawal of Soviet and beginning of the internal conflicts in Kabul. Khalilzad wanted to revive Washington’s influence on Afghanistan by supporting the peace process between the Taliban and the oppositions of the group. But, Khalilzad’s proposal was not taken seriously by Washington at that time.

Later, it has been cleared that the Taliban joined the global Jihadism and outbrave to confront the US. Now, most likely Khalilzad would not trust the Taliban with closed eyes. He must have learned from the past. It is unlikely that Khalilzad would ask the Taliban to agree on a supervisory mechanism to help Washington to track the withdrawal of the Taliban from the line of the global Jihadism. It’s clear that neither the Taliban’s separation from the lineage of global Jihadism is an abstract matter nor its regulatory mechanism. Taliban’s separation from global Jihadism line means that the group would issue announcements to condemn the ideas of al-Qaeda and other units of the global Jihadism. The United States will surely demand the withdrawal of foreign fighters from the Taliban group and then, will monitor it. It is clear that surveillance would be abstractive and in some cases may involve military operations.

Still, the aspects of the issue are not cleared. How can the Taliban leaders explain their withdrawal plan from the global Jihadism list to their supporters and fighters? Taliban have consistently said that supporting global Jihadism and their ideas are a religious obligation. Therefore, Mullah Mohammad Omar did not want to support the United States against al-Qaeda after the 11the September attack. Exiting from global Jihadism list is somehow condemning Mullah Mohammad Omar, will the Taliban actually do it?

There are also questions about the status of the Taliban’s agreement with Afghanistan. The international community will consider the Taliban as a legitimate part of the Afghan community when the group forsake global Jihadism. In that case, it’s necessary to reach an agreement with the Afghan government and political forces to be part of Afghanistan’s legitimate policy. To achieve this goal and become a part of the republican system, institution and laws are needed to be changed in Afghanistan. The goal would be available, at least when the Taliban accept the principle of a republican order.

Do the Taliban accept constitution based on Republican system?  Will they shadow on political order by accepting the republican form? Do they want an interim government to realize their presence in a republican order, or thinking of another way? National Unity government of Afghanistan denies the formation of any type of interim government. On the other hand, the most important question is what will be done with the military forces of the Taliban? Will they be allowed to become autonomous in some areas or their forces will be integrated into the Afghan security forces? This question has still not been answered, if the Taliban never be satisfied to sit on a negotiation table with the Afghan government, with whom they will reach an agreement to be a part of the republic? The position of Taliban’s leader dubbed as “Amir al-Momenin” is also questionable.

After arriving in the Qatari capital of Doha, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad wrote that he is planning to hold talks with high-ranking Taliban delegations. Khalilzad has written that negotiations between the US and Taliban have reached to a very significant and ticklish stage. Earlier, Khalilzad had said he has agreed on a gradual withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan and the removal of Taliban from the global Jihadism list, in talks with the representatives of Taliban’s supreme council, the Quetta Shura, in Qatar. In the next negotiations, they will confess on ways how to implement the reached agreement. It seems Taliban urges Washington to release a timetable of withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan. In return, Washington wants the Taliban to announce their disjunction with the global Jihadism.

The problem between the US and the Taliban emanates when the Taliban group joined to International Jihadism list. At the beginning of the Taliban’s operations in Afghanistan, Khalilzad published an article in a credible US newspaper, saying that the Taliban has nothing to do with anti-Western global Islamism. In that article, Khalilzad had advised the US to re-engage in Afghanistan and reconcile the anti-Taliban movement, which was stationed in northern parts of the country, with the Taliban in order to form a common government and to end the long-lasting war in the country. At that time, Osama bin Laden was newly introduced to the Taliban. Khalilzad had falsely supposed thatTaliban and the US have common interests in bin Laden’s deportations from Afghanistan. It is clear that Osama bin Laden came to Jalalabad, the provincial capital of eastern Nangarhar Province, from Sudan at the beginning of 1996, with the support of the leaders of a number of political parties. At that time, an aeroplane of Afghan Ariana Airlines deported from Afghan capital Kabul to Sudan’s capital Khartoum in order to bring him Jalalabad. The Aviation Minister of that time Dr Abdul Rahman had organized the plane’s flight to Dubai and then Sudan to bring bin Laden to Jalalabad.

Mr Khalilzad perhaps thought that bin Laden was not a Taliban ally but an ally of parties which were tended to the thoughts of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement that coordinated his return from Sudan to Jalalabad. At that time, Khalilzad wanted to establish close ties between the US and the Taliban in order to increase Washington’s influence on Taliban and then persuade the leaders of the group not to operate in northern parts of the country. He wanted to ask the Taliban representatives to sit with the north coalition leaders at the table of negotiations to reach an agreement to share the power.

At the end of 1996, Khalilzad believed that bin Laden’s expulsion from Afghanistan would bring peace to Afghanistan and strengthen the US influence on the country. Due to its oppressive support of anti-Soviet fighters, the US had an influence on most leaders of the parties of the time. But, the influence decreased day by day following the withdrawal of Soviet and beginning of the internal conflicts in Kabul. Khalilzad wanted to revive Washington’s influence on Afghanistan by supporting the peace process between the Taliban and the oppositions of the group. But, Khalilzad’s proposal was not taken seriously by Washington at that time.

Later, it has been cleared that the Taliban joined the global Jihadism and outbrave to confront the US. Now, most likely Khalilzad would not trust the Taliban with closed eyes. He must have learned from the past. It is unlikely that Khalilzad would ask the Taliban to agree on a supervisory mechanism to help Washington to track the withdrawal of the Taliban from the line of the global Jihadism. It’s clear that neither the Taliban’s separation from the lineage of global Jihadism is an abstract matter nor its regulatory mechanism. Taliban’s separation from global Jihadism line means that the group would issue announcements to condemn the ideas of al-Qaeda and other units of the global Jihadism. The United States will surely demand the withdrawal of foreign fighters from the Taliban group and then, will monitor it. It is clear that surveillance would be abstractive and in some cases may involve military operations.

Still, the aspects of the issue are not cleared. How can the Taliban leaders explain their withdrawal plan from the global Jihadism list to their supporters and fighters? Taliban have consistently said that supporting global Jihadism and their ideas are a religious obligation. Therefore, Mullah Mohammad Omar did not want to support the United States against al-Qaeda after the 11the September attack. Exiting from global Jihadism list is somehow condemning Mullah Mohammad Omar, will the Taliban actually do it?

There are also questions about the status of the Taliban’s agreement with Afghanistan. The international community will consider the Taliban as a legitimate part of the Afghan community when the group forsake global Jihadism. In that case, it’s necessary to reach an agreement with the Afghan government and political forces to be part of Afghanistan’s legitimate policy. To achieve this goal and become a part of the republican system, institution and laws are needed to be changed in Afghanistan. The goal would be available, at least when the Taliban accept the principle of a republican order.

Do the Taliban accept constitution based on Republican system? Will they shadow on political order by accepting the republican form? Do they want an interim government to realize their presence in a republican order, or thinking of another way? National Unity government of Afghanistan denies the formation of any type of interim government. On the other hand, the most important question is what will be done with the military forces of the Taliban? Will they be allowed to become autonomous in some areas or their forces will be integrated into the Afghan security forces? This question has still not been answered, if the Taliban never be satisfied to sit on a negotiation table with the Afghan government, with whom they will reach an agreement to be a part of the republic? The position of Taliban’s leader dubbed as “Amir al-Momenin” is also questionable.

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