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Afghans' peace dreams and turbulent times ahead

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The issue of peace and violence has gone so convoluted that it will take another decade to see the bloodshed and mayhem coming to an end. The Taliban treacherously assassinated Karzai's chief peace negotiator Ustad Prof. Burhanuddin Rabbani at his residence in Kabul last year whereas as soon as his son Salahuddin Rabbani was appointed as the head of the headless High Peace Council (HPC) to step into his father's shoes to lead the HPC, the Taliban unleashed the floodgates of fear once again by carrying out multiple attacks across the country.

Clinton meets Salahuddin Rabbani at the US embassy in Kabul on October 20. by

(Salahuddin Rabbani shaking hands with the US Secretary for State, Hillary Clinton)

The attacks were carried out in Kabul, Paktia and Nangrahar on Sunday. The Taliban apparently wanted to show their show of might as the "Spring Offensive Season' has arrived. They did succeed in showing their might that they can still give tough times to the United States and its allied forces in Afghanistan however it also revealed that they are not flexible in their peace overtures with the government of Afghanistan. This is not fair to open the Taliban liaison office in Qatar on one hand while on the other to oppose it by carrying deadly attacks. If the situation remains the same the dream of peace would remain at shatters always and wouldn't take concrete shape. The stakeholders in Afghan conflict wouldn't come to the last resort of a "table talks solution' which the Afghan government since long has been hankering after. In an irresponsible statement the NATO claimed that they have hamstrung the power of the Taliban and they are not in the position to carry out attacks in the current spring season yet the Taliban proved all the calculations of the NATO and ISAF wrong.

New explosions rock Kabul after Afghan forces repel earlier attacks by

(Afghan troops engaged in fight with the militants in Kabul; the fighter fight lasted for 18-hour whereas 23 militants were killed)

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At times we heard that the Taliban are faced with a difficulty in getting new recruits of potential suicide bombers and peace loving Afghans started hopping in joys as they believed that peace would make a comeback but their jubilation proved short termed when they witnessed suicide bombings on Sunday. This is true that at certain times the Taliban were faced with troubles in getting new recruits but the incidents like the burning of the holy Quran in Bagram Airfield, the shooting of 16 innocent civilians by American soldiers in Panjwai district of Kandahar and raping of Afghan women have fomented anti-Americanism among Afghans that paved way for the popularity of the Taliban and brought an increase in new recruits for them. If NATO and ISAF keep clinging to the path of their wrong doings in Afghanistan, the day is not so that they will run from here licking their wounds while they will push the Afghan government into another whirlpool of troubles and challenges. Had the foreign forces and the United States shown sense of rationalism and delivered their promises made with the Afghan nation, the Afghan government would have reached to a deal with the Taliban but alas the arrogance of foreigners have trammeled the way for peace. Though Afghan civilians dream about peace but peace is linked with these stark facts--whether the Taliban show flexibility in peace talks, the US and its backed forces change their current pathway, and Salahuddin succeeds in bringing the Taliban to the table of negotiations or not?

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The writer is a Kabul-based journalist and contributes articles to English dailies in Kabul and Peshawar.

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