Rising tensions in Afghanistan threaten peace process

Rising tensions in Afghanistan threaten peace process

Posted on Apr 29, 2020

Rising tensions in Afghanistan pose a serious threat to the peace deal reached between the Taliban and the United States to end the two-decade-long war.

Dozens of militants and civilians continue to be killed every day in clashes between security forces and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and operations by both sides have intensified, AFP reported.

According to experts, the civil war in Afghanistan could take its worst form during the global outbreak of the coronavirus.

Ashley Jackson, a researcher at the Overseas Development Institute, said: "The peace agreement has not yet failed, but it is still breathing. Estimates are of how long it will take for the agreement to begin."

The Afghan official said that since the Taliban signed the agreement in Doha on February 29, an average of 55 attacks has been carried out daily.

On the other hand, the UN agency said in its report that Afghan security forces were responsible for more child deaths through shelling and airstrikes than the Taliban.

According to experts, bloodshed was expected from the language of the agreement because the United States had provided immense facilities to its 18-year-old enemy.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly said since the peace deal that he wants an immediate withdrawal of US troops and that the Taliban are not targeting the US or foreign troops.

Bill Roggio, a senior researcher at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies think tank, said: "The Taliban believe that the agreement is a deal to end the occupation.

Kabul-based security expert Nishank Mutwani said the Doha agreement had given the Taliban legitimacy and that they believed they had won the war.

"The Taliban basically think that victory is theirs," he said.

It may be recalled that the Taliban and the United States had signed a peace agreement in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on February 29, under which the United States had assured the withdrawal of troops.

The four-page agreement stated that the Taliban would not allow Afghan territory to be used by any organization, group or individual that would pose a threat to the United States or its allies.

The United States has promised to ensure the withdrawal of US and allied troops from Afghanistan.

The Taliban had said that they would start the process of inter-Afghan talks from March 10, 2020. After the inter-Afghan talks, a strategy for the political process in Afghanistan would be worked out.

The agreement clarifies that the completion of the first two parts is conditional on the success of the next two parts.

Under the agreement, the United States and the Taliban agreed to exchange thousands of prisoners for "confidence-building" and said that "by March 10, about 5,000 Taliban and 1,000 Afghan prisoners will be released." ۔

Later in April, the release of prisoners began and hundreds of Taliban prisoners were released and the Taliban released prisoners of the forces, but the issue remained a dispute between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

Taliban sources said they had no intention of easing tensions until the prisoners were released and that talks would not take place until then.

"Ashraf Ghani's government wants to test our nerves but we want to tell them we are not tired, we are still fresh and ready to fight," the Taliban leader said.


Sania Sehar

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