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The Unfortunate Afghan Peace Process

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The Unfortunate Afghan Peace Process

Deadlock, Mistrust and Predicaments

Mairaj ul Hamid Nasri

It seems that an already suffering Afghanistan is destined to suffer more from violence, regardless of numerous steps taken for restoration of peace in this war-torn country. Many factors, including mistrust between the negotiating parties, forces of status quo in Afghanistan, questionable role of some unseen forces, vested interests of the regional players and, the most important, non-accommodative behaviour of the Taliban and the Americans, have led the Afghan peace process into another deadlock.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghan reconciliation, was about to announce a deal with the Afghan Taliban when the unpredictable President Donald Trump cancelled his secret meeting with a delegation of Senior Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David merely over the killing of an American soldier in an attack claimed by the Taliban. If the level of confidence and trust is such low, it can be predicted easily that even after signing of the agreement, its life span would have been very short, rendering it meaningless in quest for getting the desired results. Although clashes between Taliban fighters and Americans in Afghanistan occur almost daily, and casualties are part of the fighting, yet scuttling the whole process over killing of a single American soldier brings many factors to the fore. Political advisors of President Trump may have advised him to adopt a strategy of cashing the death of the soldier as a key factor for his upcoming election campaign as a slogan of holding American blood superior over restoration of peace in Afghanistan.

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