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The Killid Group
Blacklist split lights way to reconciliationWritten by Mohammad Reza Gulkohi
Saturday, 25 June 2011 15:30
The UN Security Council resolutions of June 17, separating the list of those sanctioned for their membership of Al Qaeda and the Taliban into two separate lists is a positive step forward towards national peace and stability. The Council will also consider the Afghan government request for removal of around 20 names from the list of sanctioned Taliban members in mid-July.
The Afghan ambassador to the UN, Zahir Tanin said the decision would be a pivotal step in ensuring peace and reconciliation. "It gives us more flexibility. It will help to create a regime of engagement for people to join the peace process."
The move comes at a time when the Afghan security forces are poised to take over security responsibility for a number of areas in the country from the international forces and the US is on the brink of announcing the drawdown of its troops beginning in July. The move of the UNSC also comes ahead of the Bonn conference in December where, it is expected that some Taliban members may participate in the conference. The US and the Afghan High Peace Council have been trying hard to pave the way for negotiations with the Taliban.
Welcomg the move, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said: "The United States believes that the new sanctions regime for Afghanistan will serve as an important tool to promote reconciliation, while isolating extremists."
The High Peace Council spokesman Mohammad Esmaeel Qasemyar said: "Those contained in UN blacklist are Taliban leadership members. As soon as their names are removed from blacklist, they will be able to visit different countries in order to participate in peace negotiation talks outside of Afghanistan."
An important question is that of who will actually be removed from the sanctions list when the UNSC meets in July. Many political experts who consider it critical point out that though some names were moved from the list in the past, they were not key members of the Taliban.
Mirbat Khan Mangal MP believes that the de-listing would be effective only if those who are de-listed are part of the armed opposition to the government. "It will be a positive step if those whose names are de-listed are those responsible for waging war against the Afghan government and there are serious efforts to make them participants in the decision-making process."
Reports in some of the media have suggested that the names being currently considered include some members of the High Peace Council, i.e. former members of the Taliban who have, since, become inactive.
Wahid Mujda a political expert believes the UN Security Council's current step is confusing and he accused both the UNSC and the Afghan government of political sleight of hand. "The Afghan government's proposed list of names for de-listing to the UN includes those who have been living in Kabul for 10 years and are not in direct opposition with the Afghan government. US officials are negotiating with Sayed Tayyab Agha in Germany who accepts the Afghan constitution and is not directly opposed with Afghan government."Mujda believes the UN Security Council should take positive steps to encourage the Taliban to sit at the negotiating table. Janan Mosazai, the spokesman of the Afghan Foreign Ministry said however that the steps taken by the UNSC would encourage Taliban insurgents to participate in the reconciliation program and lead the way to peace and stability.
Some political experts feel that the separation of the lists would be positive if it leads to separation of the Taliban from their foreign backers. Some of the members of Parliament expressed their satisfaction at the UNSC decision as a major step toward ensuring peace and security in Afghanistan, but on the condition that individuals whose names would be removed should accept the Afghan Constitution. This view was echoed by Mohammad Nawab Mangal, an MP, who believes that while everyone wants peace, the members on the sanctions list should accept the Afghan Constitution. Such a declaration by the members would have a positive impact on the peace process, he said.