The United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, arrived on Wednesday to Kabul and held separate meetings with the Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the Chairman of the High Peace Council, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, during which they spoke about further steps in the disputed peace process.
During the meeting, the Afghan government has pressed the U.S. envoy for an immediate comprehensive ceasefire before the start of direct talks with the Taliban so that it could facilitate an intra-Afghan dialogue with the group.
The State Ministry for Peace in Afghanistan, nonetheless, says the Afghan peace and reconciliation process is quite complicated, requiring all countries in the region and around the globe to play constructive roles.
Najia Anwari, a spokeswoman for the state minister of peace, maintains that it is expected from the countries in the region and around the world to press the Taliban for direct talks with the Afghan government and to welcome a peace process in the war-torn Afghanistan.
According to her, the armed Taliban must show a commitment to the peace process in the country.
“The Afghan peace process is one of the most complicated processes—the regional and international shared roles are important [to the process]. It is expected that these countries put pressure on the Taliban so that they accept the Afghan people’s demand [for peace in Afghanistan], says the spokesperson for the peace state ministry.
Meanwhile, Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad held both joint and separate meetings with the Afghan leaders and spoke about the peace process and its further steps.
In the first meeting, Amb. Khalilzad met with the Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the Chairman of the High Peace Council, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to held talks on peace. In his separate meetings, he first visited the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and then the Chairman of the High Peace Council, Dr. Abdullah to discuss “operationalizing” his new role as head of the peace council.
Asad Wahidi, a political affairs analyst and university instructor, traces the issue from a slightly different angle.
He is confident that the United States is putting efforts to create obstacles to the way of starting the direct intra-Afghan talks, adding that it actually doesn’t want the talks to begin this soon.
“I think the U.S. aim is to create obstacles to the intra-Afghan talks. These talks won’t start, and if they do, they will face problems. The Americans outwardly tried to start the intra-Afghan peace negotiations, but all their actions and efforts were to create obstacles to prevent the talks to begin,” Mr. Wahidi says.
Reacting to Khalilzad’s visit to Kabul, Sayed Nasir Mosawi, another political analyst and an international relations expert, believes that it’s more apparent that there are still political differences between the two Afghan leaders.
“Now that the Americans have visited, it shows that the Afghan government has not got a unified form yet. There are differences of opinion; they are trying to avoid general criticism,” Mr. Mosawi says.
The United States special envoy’s visit to Kabul comes days after the two Afghan leaders reached a political settlement and signed an agreement to end a prolonged dispute which had plunged the country into a political crisis.Follow TKG on Twitter & Facebook