The word Taleban, it seems, is now no more persona non grata for the world community, especially the West. Efforts under way to win over the sympathies of the controversial militia for peace in Afghanistan has compelled the United Nations to strike off at least 14 former Taleban commanders’ names from the blacklist.With a stroke of pen they are now appropriate and relevant personnel to deal with while negotiating peace prospects in the war-weary South-west Asia. With the dispensation in Kabul supporting the move, in order to make its grand reconciliation efforts a success, one hopes some substantial homework might have been done to institutionalise a change for the good.
Though not much is known as to how relevant the 14 Taleban leaders are to the ongoing peace initiatives, it seems the purpose is solely meant for strengthening President Hamid Karzai’s efforts to stay put in power. Similarly, as the United States plans to pull out its troops by next year-end, Pentagon and NATO are gradually getting convinced that bringing in the moderate Taleban could help in finding a political solution of the imbroglio. But it goes without saying that the hardened faction of the Taleban under Mullah Omar, who continues to call the shots as far as the reigning insurgency is concerned, is still off the hook. Notwithstanding claims emanating from Washington and Brussels that the second-tier of the Taleban leadership is in talks, hardly anybody is sure of its success, as the militia has made exit of foreign troops as a precondition for any meaningful talks. If that is so, then what is this fuss of shortening the so-called blacklist all about?
If winning over of warlords is the criterion, then Karzai is best at it! His two tenures are a manifest of how he has been cobbling with the drug-traffickers, warlords and gunrunners with little or no consideration for the security and stability of the devastated country.Afghanistan is in need of a genuine peace process. And that won’t be possible as long as tailor-made prescriptions are enforced on it. The polity that comprises around 70 per cent of Pakhtoon has no recourse but to get real. Respecting each other’s strength and mandate can make the difference. With the consensus being reached that there is no military solution to the prevailing discord, the status quo has to change. Talks on a minimum agenda of restoring the writ of the state and making permanent peace can get going. – Khaleejnews