Pakistan and the US-led western backers of Afghanistan have called on Kabul officials to resume the peace talks with the leadership of the Taliban militants.
Prolonged pause on peace talks may encourage extremists such as the Islamic State militant group to come along with other spoilers and fuel hostilities between the two side hence reverse the recently build up relations between Islamabad and Kabul.
The peace talks were on cause but last month’s revelation of the demise of Taliban’s leader Omar Mullah disrupted the talks.
Afghanistan government officials and Taliban militant representatives hosted by Pakistan and witnessed by American and Chinese observers was the first direct contact between the two sides in 14 years.
Afghanistan has faced some of the deadliest attacks staged by Taliban under the leadership of Omar’s successor, Mulla Akthar Mansoor. The increased attacks have put the President Ashraf Ghani pressure not to engage with the militants and to rethink his outreach toward Pakistan.
Afghan citizenry continue to put the blame on Islamabad for the recent bloodshed especially in the capital, Kabul. In the recent days, tensions and skirmishes have been witnessed along the border. Economic ties have also suffered setbacks.
According to Franz-Michael Mellibin, European Union Special Representative for Afghanistan, the two sides need to resume peace talks as a matter of urgency to narrow differences.
Afghanistan have arrayed concerns that Pakistan harbours Talibans holding meetings and sending war messages while in Pakistan. Afghanistan has called on Pakistan to take action and stop those activities.
Pakistani officials on the other hand deny the charges and insist that Afghan and Taliban negotiators need to return to the table.
For peace talk to resume, Taliban must cease all sorts of hostilities as it re-engages with the Afghan, as the talks may not make sense if the acts of terrorism as witnesses in Afghanistan continue.
New Taliban Leadership
The new Taliban leadership headed by Mullah Akthar Mansoor despite the opposition from the surviving family members of the late Omar Mullah, the new leadership is seen to focus on their primary goal of forcing US-led foreign forces out of Afghanistan.
Critics, however, remain skeptical about Mansoor’s ability to ensure a unified Taliban insurgency as it used to be under its founder, Mullah Omar. The new Taliban leadership is seen to ready to accept the peace process citing it affects their honor, independence and national interest.
It seems the new Taliban emir may have stepped back from the peace process he had approved early July and instead engulfed at consolidating support in the wake and struggle to maintain unity of the insurgency and to prevent any instance his faction may find refuge in Islamic State.