In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Mohsen Pakaeen, referring to the remarks of the spokesman of the Afghan government on finalization of the agenda of negotiations with the Taliban and the agreement of the two sides, stated: The nature of inter-Afghan talks is a very good idea and shows that different Afghan groups have come the conclusion that through negotiations and understanding they should try to solve the country’s problems, contribute to the country’s fate, and finally establish peace in Afghanistan.
Stating that if the talks are inter-Afghan, hope could be placed in it, saying: But apparently the talks are not completely between Afghans. In fact, negotiations are between the government and government officials on the one hand and the Taliban on the other hand. Other Afghan groups who are expert and claim to have been on the scene during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, as well as during the US-led aggression and simultaneously with the Taliban invasion, have fought and given martyrs but are not present at the scene of the talks.
Referring to the active and militant parties and groups such as Jamiat-e-Islami Afghanistan led by Salahuddin Rabbani, Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e-Islami, Massoud’s Party, the Shiites, Mr. Akbari and Mr. Khalili parties and other groups that are absent in the talks, the analyst of Afghanistan affairs stressed: We cannot absolutely call these talks inter-Afghan talks.
As for the remarks of one of the senior members of the Taliban negotiating team who said ‘either we reach agreement or take back Afghanistan by force’ as well as the possibility for the formation of a coalition government, Pakaeen said: It is true that this is the legitimate government of Afghanistan, but Mr. Ghani and Abdullah won about one million or a little more votes and after an argument, established the current government. That is to say, most of the Afghan people have a specific view of the government and the state.
People Do Not Believe Much in Taliban Policy
He said: On the other side of the talks, the Taliban is also present with double standards. They are both seeking to continue their military operations and to enter into negotiations peacefully as a political group. Therefore, people do not believe much in this policy of the Taliban, that whether this group is a political or a military group.
Referring to the US intervention in the talks, Pakaeen said: On the other hand, we see American involvement in this issue, and this intervention has always been a factor in preventing establishment of peace in Afghanistan. The Americans are certainly not friends of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan nor the Islamic government in that country. They are not friends of either Mr. Ashraf Ghani, despite his insistence on friendship with the US much more than previous presidents, nor are they friends of the Taliban and the Afghan people.
He continued: Today, the Americans transferred the declining ISIS group from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan and are trying to revive this group in that country, so they are not friends of the Afghan people and peace in that country.
Emphasizing that Mr. Pompeo’s presence is to gain an advantage and achievement for Mr. Trump’s foreign policy, the Afghan affairs expert said: By all accounts, his presence calls into question the essence of the inter-Afghan talks. For what reason does a country that brought itself and NATO forces into Afghanistan and then with its destruction forced ISIS to enter the negotiations by claiming democracy or at least claiming to support it?
Talks Are Inefficient
The talks are seemingly ineffective, Pakaeen said, adding: Of course it is true that in this regard talks were finally held between the government and the Taliban which would help diminish violation, but the talks are not inter-Afghan. Because, in inter-Afghan negotiations all Afghan groups should be present and be able to participate in determining the fate of their country.
Pointing to the electoral significance of the talks for the United States, he added: In such circumstances, these are not talks that we can hope for in the future; although we consider its nature positive. We have to wait and see what outcome is achieved from its inside.
Pakaeen also referred to the outbreak of violence, explosion and clashes in a number of Afghan provinces simultaneously with the continuation of the talks and said: One of the Taliban’s policies for achieving more and maximum advantages is simultaneous activities in political and military dimensions, therefore we cannot hope that the talks will prevent continuation of violence in the future. Meanwhile, one side of the violence is the US and ISIS, they are also present to conduct operations inside Afghanistan.
He added: Under this situation, it is unlikely that the violence will stop; thus, both the US with the help of ISIS, and ISIS as US proxy in Afghanistan and the Taliban itself are trying to continue the violence. Naturally, the government should fight against this violence by its military forces. As a result, the violence is unlikely to end after the talks.