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For a few months, some media channels were continuously airing news of a conference to take place in Istanbul, Turkey, regarding the Afghan Peace Process. The conference was being described as a ‘Second Bonn.’ It was predicted that fundamental decisions regarding the future of Afghanistan would take place in this conference and an upcoming government […]
For a few months, some media channels were continuously airing news of a conference to take place in Istanbul, Turkey, regarding the Afghan Peace Process. The conference was being described as a ‘Second Bonn.’ It was predicted that fundamental decisions regarding the future of Afghanistan would take place in this conference and an upcoming government determined.
This conference was unlike previous conferences in a few ways. First, it was to be held at a rather sensitive time — the closing of April and beginning of May coincides with the agreed upon date for the withdrawal of foreign forces. Therefore, the holding of such a key conference at this sensitive juncture cannot be considered ordinary.
Second, one side of the Afghan conflict (America and its domestic supporters) were very enthusiastic for the conference, while the other side’s (Taliban) interest to participate could not clearly be ascertained.
The described environment points towards the fact that through their powerful propaganda and stealthy deception, the imperialistic powers were attempting to push the Taliban to, willingly or unwillingly, a rushed decision which was needed by America. Under the title of solving the Afghan conflict, they desired to complete a for-show roadmap before the withdrawal of foreign forces.
To persuade the opposition for a particular act through propaganda, unilateral steps, and full fledged pressure has remained an old trick of the imperialistic powers. Through such acts, these powers seek to cunningly move a weaker opponent into pre-planned agenda. Sometimes, weak movements cannot maneuver skillfully through such propaganda and pre-planned situations. Like soulless fish, the strong current of water flows them alongside.
The circumstances were such that from America to Kabul, and from Turkey to neighboring countries, all were engaged in presenting roadmaps and preparing for the Istanbul Conference, and the media too, paid much focus on the subject. The Taliban refused to participate, however. They thereby made abundantly clear that they have not shifted from the same battleground and reiterated that they are still the Taliban of old — independent, freedom-loving, firm upon principles, and possessing full authority to make their own decisions.
They are the same people whom during the Bush and Obama eras, remained unfazed by the enemy’s overwhelming strength and whose firm resolve refused to be weakened by enemy barbarity. Even today, the pushbacks of the circumstances and great storms of propaganda have failed to demonstrate sufficient ability to remove them from their vision and true path.
The Taliban’s decision is correct for the reason that the forty year-old Afghanistan issue cannot be resolved through hasty conferences called under emergency and nor is it appropriate to participate in gatherings whose project, program, time and place has been decided unilaterally. A mistake aside from this was to use the force of propaganda to pressure the opponent.
Furthermore, this stance of the Taliban is an embarrassment for those who once interpreted the Taliban’s dialogue with America as leaning towards the imperialistic power, and would incorrectly assume the Taliban to be under Zalmay Khalilzad’s influence.
It has now been proven that in the same way the Taliban were independent in their jihad against the United States, they have likewise upheld their independence in decision-making regarding the war’s closure and during the important phase of negotiations. Therefore, the opposing side ought to refrain from organizing further mysterious and conspiratorial gatherings as they are futile for the establishment of peace.
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