Afghanistan Drifting Towards Election Process
Ali Sukhanver


The US diplomat ZalmayMamozy Khalilzad had been the highest-ranking Muslim American in the George W.Bush administration. His diplomatic services with reference to countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan have been so marvelous that he remained‘the blue-eyed boy’ of every US government. At present Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation at the US State Department.

Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad is an Afghan by birth that is why now the Trump administration has given him this fresh assignment of looking into the Afghan affairs on behalf of the US State Department. This assignment is in fact a mission of securing a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan. It is being hoped that Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad would succeed in finding out a viable solution to the Afghan issue. In continuation to his new assignment he is visiting the region now-a-days and his sole purpose is to speed up the peace efforts in Afghanistan. According to different media reports, Zalmay Khalilzad has expressed his desire of having a peace agreement with the Taliban before the upcoming Afghan presidential elections which are expected on 20th April 219. There are rumors that these elections could be delayed for some time because President Ghani does not find the law and order situation of the country suitable for the elections.

Experts on Afghanistan Political affairs are of the opinion that President Ashraf Ghani is apprehendingTaliban’s influence and interference in the election process. In spite of President Ghani’s all possible efforts and in spite of all US’ struggle, the influence of the Taliban could not be minimized in the Afghan social and political set-up. The Taliban were there, they are there and they would be there in near and far future. According to a report prepared by BBC , the Taliban are now in full control of 14 districts (that’s 4% of the country) and have an active and open physical presence in a further 263 (66%), significantly higher than previous estimates of Taliban strength. ‘In Afghanistan, about 15million people – half the population – are living in areas that are controlled by the Taliban. Taliban fighters, whom US-led forces spent billions of dollars trying to defeat, are now openly active in 70% of Afghanistan,’ says another report. In short, the Taliban are a reality which could not be and must not beignored. Any effort of throwing them out of the Afghan scenario would simply effect the law and order situation badly. It is just his day-dreaming if President Ashraf Ghani thinks that by postponing the elections, he would get time for wiping-offthe Taliban influence from the Afghan society.

As far as the role of Taliban inthe social and political scenario of Afghanistan is concerned the people ofAfghanistan rank them as the ‘sons of the soil’. No doubt they are a group ofpeople with a particular philosophy of their own but they do belong to theAfghan lands. In spite of the fact that the western media has ever beendefaming them as a group of ‘miscreants’ and a ‘gang’ of foreign supported‘terrorists’ but the people of Afghanistan have a different view about them. Ifthey were really the terrorists and criminals they could not have achievedunprecedented success in the battlefield as well as in the recent diplomaticventures in Russia and central Asia. The fact of the matter is that the Talibanhave never accepted the interference of the foreign forces in Afghanistan.

Since day one they have been fighting against the foreign invaders andintriguers. The only target they have set before them is to kick out theforeign forces from Afghanistan by creating all possible hindrances and hurdlesin the way of the foreign invaders. If Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad is reallyserious and sincere in settling the matters in Afghanistan he must keep in mindthat no such effort could ever be successful without involving the Taliban. Itis another reality that the Taliban could never be pressurized by use of force;the only way to deal with them is to convince them to join peace-talks.

But atthe same time it must also be kept in mind that the Taliban do not have a verypleasant and positive experience regarding the peace-talks, arranged in thepast. They are always deceived and betrayed. Let us hope this time history doesnot repeat itself.