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Global support for direct peace negotiations stressed

Global support for direct peace negotiations stressed

Jan 12, 2017 - 16:06

KABUL (Pajhwok): Declining international economic and political support for Afghanistan could lead to disastrous consequences for the global fraternity, an independent research organization has warned.

NATO and partners were asked to treat regard Afghanistan as a regional centre of new developments and an intersection of emerging competition and use regional and international platforms to restore stability and end extremism in the country.

The Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) said in a report the international community must support the government’s peace plans and impose sanctions on the states sponsoring terrorism and extremism to force them into participating in the reconciliation process. 

It suggested greater focus on face-to-face talks between the government and the Taliban to restore peace and stability in the country. The military strategy alone was not enough, it said, calling for a stick-and-carrot policy to bring the opposition to the negotiating table.

Political parties and influential social figures be taken into confidence, the research-based report said, urging the government to evolve national consensus on peace and mull ways of integrating the armed opposition into the political mainstream.

The High Peace Council must be restructured to ensure transparency in all its affairs and enable it to restore the trust of all sides, AISS recommended. The council was asked not to impeded peace attempts by religious scholars and civil society institutions.

According to the report, the council should have the authority to make the ultimate decision on accepting or rejecting plans and initiatives of the religious and civil society institutions about direct negotiations. 

“Given the requirements of the current regional and international policies and the link between the internal problems and struggle of the country with the external factors, the government must pursue active diplomacy in relation to regional platforms…”

While voicing grave concern at the emergence of more violent groups such as the Islamic State (IS), the institute said extremist outfits should not be allowed to use local disputes to revive the proxy war in Afghanistan. 

AISS asked the government to initiate special plans to reform the religious education system and prevent the spread of bigotry. It also stressed the need for good governance, transparency and accountability in the administrative and judicial system.

Given to the vulnerability and fragility of the political situation, political parties and civil society organisations were asked jointly pursue a reform policy. Any power vacuum will embolden the rebels to hamper the reconciliation process.

“Political parties and civil society organizations, especially religious and academic institutions must play a strong role in mobilising the public opinion on peace. 

The research is aimed to identify and investigate factors behind war and to suggest a practical approach to peace, particularly to the ongoing process for negotiations between the government and the armed opposition.

“War in Afghanistan is dramatically influenced by the external and internal factors which, at every stage, had a role in the perpetuation of war and violence,” the report said.