Kabul Tomorrow Unknown
Kandahar Tomorrow Sunny
Herat Tomorrow Unknown
Mazar-i-sharif Tomorrow Unknown
Ghazni Tomorrow Sunny
Jalalabad Tomorrow Sunny
Bamiyan Tomorrow Sunny
Zaranj Tomorrow Sunny
Mimana Tomorrow Party cloudy
The Killid Group
Is Rabbani the right choice?Written by Killid Commentary
Sunday, 17 October 2010 11:57
It is not clear if Burhanuddin Rabbani the new chairman of the High Peace Council will be able to overcome the challenges he is facing for successful negotiations and reconciliation with the Taliban.
Rabbani, former President of Afghanistan and leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami, was finally appointed to that position last week, though most analysts had expected that it would be Sibgatullah Mojaddedi who would become the chair.
Rabbani took over as the Afghan president following two months during which Mojaddedi was the President in 1992, after the ouster of the Najibullah government. However the mujahideen government was defeated by the Taliban, following which Rabbani moved first to Mazar-e- Sharif and eventually to Takhar and Badakhshan when the Taliban reached Mazar-e-Sharif. He stayed in Badakhshan, his home province, until the U.S. led invasion removed the Taliban from power.
Rabbani's power and political position was weakened after President Hamid Karzai was chosen as the president during the Bonn conference. He contested the parliamentary election of 2004 and remained an MP until the 2010 elections, when he was one of the twenty members of parliament who did not re-contest.
Karzai's relationship with Rabbani saw many ups and downs but recently the President was able to persuade him to take part in the peace jirga of last June, through the intervention of the conservative jihadi leader Abdul Rasool Sayyaf. He was made chairman of the peace jirga and now will head the Peace Council as well.
Some of the younger members of his political group, the Jamaat-e-Islami as well as member of the erstwhile Shura-e-Nazar (the Northern Alliance group headed by Ahmed Shah Masood) have been opposed to his acceptance of this position. They oppose reconciliation with the Taliban who they blame for the assassination of Masood. This group feels Rabbani was disloyal in accepting the chairmanship.
Rabbani has announced he does not have any particular conflict with Taliban. But some believe that since he led the anti-Taliban coalition during a virulent fight between the two groups he should not have been made chairman of the council.
The support of the international community is essential in any move towards reconciliation. Equally important is the role of Pakistan, something that was made clear by the arrest of Mullah Barader, who was negotiating with the Afghan government in February this year.