The Taliban and US fighting with each hasn’t benefited the Afghan people. Less violence would mean more peace. The peace talks are key to ending the long war. Currently, there are about 20,000 coalition forces in Afghanistan, but the Taliban have more fighting people on their true side which allows them to carry out powerful attacks against the Afghan forces and the military groups.
The US was repeatedly blamed for bombings and airstrikes killing innocent civilians particularly in Kunduz hospital airstrike which killed 40 people. President Donald Trump has reduced combat operations on the ground. The Afghan forces are in command with air support from the US military.
Trump has a good reason to stay in Afghanistan even after a peace deal with Taliban and this is only for to eliminate ISIS from the country. There are currently about 5000 ISIS fighters reportedly present in Afghanistan.
The discussions between Taliban will likely move towards the ninth round which would either take place in Qatar or Doha. Taliban are eager to put an end to the fight. But the US does not want to pull out from Afghanistan completely even though the American public does not support US military operations in Afghanistan.
To this day, some three million Afghans have died as a result of four decades of war which made it to be the longest war in history compared to WW1 and WW2. Previously the Taliban were in power for about ten years, but life was hard for women and girls as they were banned from schools and from working.
Afghans believe that a peace agreement will likely happen under Trump’s watch with the Taliban leaders. So far, Afghan peace talks have been held in Moscow, Doha, Qatar and Dubai. If this latest peace deal is successful, Afghanistan’s relation with the rest of the world would also enhance further. It is crucial for US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad to work with the Taliban to create an agreement for the two sides to implement together for peace in Afghanistan.
The election in Afghanistan will be coming up in September, but Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has decided to stay neutral. In this case, Afghan government would respect whatever decision is finalized about moving forward between the two sides and that it would be implemented. Khalilzad regularly meets with Ghani and the two governments are making progress together.
The fighting between the Taliban and US does not benefit anyone. These talks are crucial to ending the long war and eliminating ISIS from Afghanistan.
Written by Meladul Haq Ahmadzai, an Afghan-Canadian peace activist who lives in Canada.