(This is a reprint from NewsBred).
Russia secured a huge diplomatic victory when it got Taliban
to turn up at a meeting on Afghanistan,
attended by no less than a dozen countries, in Moscow last Friday.
This was the first time
Taliban were face to face with the other side, the government-appointed Afghanistan
High Peace Council, in the "Moscow Format" multilateral meeting which lasted
less than three hours and was only aimed at kick-starting peace talks.
This was an acknowledgment
that Taliban are stronger now than at anytime since 2001 when they faced the
wrath of United States who took out the revenge on them for hosting Al Qaeda,
the group blamed for 9/11 attacks.
Taliban, who were in power
in Afghanistan between
1996-2001, have clawed back to the extent that they now control almost half of Afghanistan and deadly attacks on the Kabul government in recent times--whom they consider to be
puppet--are at an unprecedented level now.
The Kabul government is in control in only 55% of
407 districts while the rest is largely under Taliban control or influence. Taliban
is in no mood to hold direct talks with the Kabul government and stressed they
would only hold talks with the US till an agreement on withdrawal of foreign
military presence is decided.
The Taliban and US have
met twice in July and October this year in order to break through the impasse. In
the "Moscow Format" meeting, US turned up as an observer after skipping its
first edition last year.
No less than 28,529 Afghan
soldiers have been killed since 2015 alone and Taliban's growing might have
forced United States to hold
meetings with them in Qatar
Despite over a decade of
presence in Afghanistan, United States has achieved little and citizens, caught
in the crossfire between Afghan government and Taliban, with US raining bombs
and missiles from the sky, have nowhere to go, resigning themselves and their
next generation to death any moment.
It's a horrific situation
and a threat to world stability, as Russia
perceives Afghanistan could
turn out to be a breeding ground for Islamic State (IS) terrorists, planted at
the behest of United States,
which could wreak havoc in Central Asia and
threaten its own backyard.
Russia, historically a foe of Taliban, has tactically
succeeded brilliantly in having countries as diverse as Pakistan to India
to attend the "Moscow Format" meeting.
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The Chinese delegate found
the Taliban's demand for withdrawal of troops as reasonable. The Pakistani
delegation, seated next to Taliban officials whom they promote openly, stressed
the road to peace was a long one. India had sent two non-officials
who only observed and didn't make any statements.
India has close ties with the Afghan government while Pakistan,
as said, doesn't hold itself back in promoting Taliban.
Iran and Russia
declared the need for American troops to leave Afghanistan.
Afghan and Taliban
delegations were amiable during lunch and tea breaks and acknowledged each
other at the table.
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Ashish Shukla is an Indian journalist and author who has his new book:"HOW UNITED STATES SHOT HUAMNITY: Muslims Ruined Europe Next" released worldwide.
He also runs a website: www.newsbred.com which is antidote to boardroom bulletins that (more...)