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USA, NATO opposed fair peace opportunity before 2005: Stanikzai

USA, NATO opposed fair peace opportunity before 2005: Stanikzai

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12 Jun 2023 - 18:49
USA, NATO opposed fair peace opportunity before 2005: Stanikzai
author avatar
12 Jun 2023 - 18:49

KABUL (Pajhwok): The United States of America (USA) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) had opposed a fair peace opportunity that existed before 2005 and it was their mistake, Mohammad Masoum Stanikzai, chief negotiator of the previous republic regime has said.

He also said that the acting Afghan government should hear the voices of the people of Afghanistan, not the world, because the problems of Afghans and the country would surge more than ever before if the obstacles are not removed and interaction with the world was not maintained.

He said in 2001 suitable opportunity for peace in the country existed and if the Taliban were given a chance of participation in Bonn Conference there would have been no confrontation in the future.

During an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Stanikzai said fears regarding the sudden collapse of the republic regime emerged after the US entered a direct peace talks with the Islamic ‘Emirate of Afghanistan’ (IEA) in 20018.

He said these fears also inherited from the historical fact when the former President Dr. Najibullah’s government was collapsed as a result of failed talks between him and Mujahidin.

“Fears started from the direct talks of the US and the IEA and continued till the Doha agreement in which four main points were agreed upon which were pull out of foreign forces, ensuring ceasefire, intra-Afghan talks and fight against terrorism.”

He, however, said when the US forces decided the pull out of its forces in a specific time so it was clear that peace talks will yield no result.

When asked why US turned its back to a government which it supported for 20 years and had signed a strategic agreement as well he said: “The main point is that each country has its interest and it decides according to its interest. All agreements signed in the past few decades for peace and stability in Afghanistan were due to foreign presser and served the interest of foreign elements more, not the interest of Afghanistan which forge cordial ties with the region powers, others refrain from interfering in its internal matters.

Unfortunately, regional rivalry, world’s interests and major powers rivalries caused these decisions to be taken.”

When asked about the authority and power of the past government negotiating team said the delegation had power and some directions regarding peace talks was given to them.

He said, ceasefire, amendment into the constitution, convening Loya Jirga, formation of interim and joint government, giving all ethnic groups their due right in the power, giving women the right of education and other necessary rights were the main demands of the republican side.

He, however, said that the other side stressed upon negotiation about the Islamic System and wanted to talk on other issues later on.
“We told them that we have Islamic government and if there is some shortcoming we will jointly address them. We should agree upon a political system which is acceptable to all,” said Stanikzai.

“If we come to the conclusion, in the past two years is there any development on the formation of a professional, inclusive administration. If there is any significant development then the Afghan delegation is to be blamed,” he added.

He said the Republic team tried hard but the Doha Agreement give impression to the other side that they would be handed over the power and they showed no flexibility in peace talks due to this fact.

He said therefore there was progress on some technical issue but no progress on basic issues such as the formation of share government and other issues.

When asked about the former President Ashraf Ghani’s worries regarding possible post peace deal he said: “Another reason was that Are the Taliban ready for a shared government, if they are ready then we need to reach agreement on it so that I can resign and the power is handed over to the next party.

The Taliban claimed that first should Ashraf Ghani resign and then acting administration should be formed but when the Taliban asked that will they participate in acting administration they said no.”

Referring to the US Chief Negotiator Zalmay Khlilzad’s peace efforts, he said if Khalilzad’s efforts were not separate the past government would be able to participate in peace talks from the start.

He said he did not see the appendix portion of the Doha Agreement but believed that Khalilzad showed them to Former President Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah.
Stanikzai said Doha Agreement did not include anything that there should be talks with the republic government.

“There is written that there is no system existing in Afghanistan and the Taliban will have to talk with different groups in Afghanistan, the entire text means it,” he said.
“The second thing is that there was progress that prisoners should be freed. The then government told Khalizad that we will free prisoners and they have to agree to ceasefire and it was also said that exactly 5,000 will not be freed it would depend on the intension and gesture of good well of the government.”

Stanikzai said if the calculation of the former Afghan president was wrong the US calculation was also not true.

He said with the killing of former Peace Negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani the peace process was affected because according to him Rabbani was a religious scholar, influential person and took effective steps for peace process.

“Till 2005 there was good opportunity for peace but at that time US and NATO was against peace process. They considered the Taliban a terrorist group and refused to talk to terrorists and Afghan government should also not talk. It was a mistake at that time,” he believed.

The former head of peace delegation said that in order to resolve issues the people of Afghanistan should contacted. A grand Jirga should be convened from public representation and talks regarding key issues such as constitution, basic rights of the people and participation of different groups in the government should be agreed upon.

He said stable Afghanistan, stable system, security, employment and education was the top priority of the people of Afghanistan and people support it if provided by every system.

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