Peace in Afghanistan

soldiers-army-basic-training-mud.jpgBackground :-

  • Violence in Afghanistan had escalated dangerously over the years. According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, the number of casualties in the first three months of 2018 was already 2,258 .
  • Taliban is rejecting Afghanistan’s offer of talks without preconditions and calling for the targeting of American forces in Afghanistan as part of a spring offensive signals the security challenge.
  • According to the U.S., Afghan forces control just a little over half the territory today, down from nearly three-fourths in 2015.

Individual efforts are not making much impact :-

  • US :-war-desert-guns-gunshow-163478.jpeg
    • The U.S. recently announced a new ‘South Asia policy’ for Afghanistan last year but now the policy itself seems uncertain.
    • Although the U.S. administration has taken some steps on Pakistani funding of terrorism across the Durand Line, it has clearly not yielded calm on the ground, as wave upon wave of terrorist violence has lashed Kabul and other cities
  • Growing U.S.-Russia tensions are creating space for proxies on Afghan soil.
  • Tensions between India and Pakistan cast a shadow over Afghanistan, with India’s development assistance under attack. This counterproductive relationship has rendered the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) ineffective.
  • China:-
    • In turn, driven by the desire to secure itself from Islamist groups, China is trying to build a rival military base in Afghanistan. But shared experience has demonstrated that confrontation has only bred violence and deepened hostility, preventing the two nations from unlocking and harnessing their shared potentials for bilateral and multilateral trade and investment.
  • Inter-state tensions among Afghanistan’s coastal neighbours or some of these countries hostility with countries outside of the region have undermined efforts at stabilising Afghanistan and giving its people a break from decades of non-stop conflict, displacement and continued impoverishment.
  • Though the IS and the Taliban are opposed to each other in the complex conflict landscape, both share a goal: to destabilise the state that has been built since 2001, and throw the country into further chaos. The IS, which lost territory in Iraq and Syria, is trying to build networks elsewhere, particularly in war-torn Afghanistan.

Multilateral Cooperation is necessary and can work :-

  • The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (Strategy), and in particular, the Joint Plan of Action of Central Asian States. The Strategy was unanimously adopted by the UN member states in 2006 and is a unique tool that, for the first time, enabled all states to agree on a common strategy to combat terrorism. To make multilateral cooperation more successful effective coordination among countries involved is necessary.
  • Afghanistan and its six neighbours signed the Kabul Declaration on Good Neighbourly Relations. The signatories included China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan each of which determined that the people of Afghanistan should enjoy security, stability, prosperity, territorial integrity, democracy and human rights after so many years of conflict, suffering, and deprivation.
  • The Heart of Asia–Istanbul Process (HOA-IP) and the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan. These Afghanistan-led processes were established to help secure regional cooperation for the country’s stabilization and sustainable development, thereby ensuring stability and prosperity throughout its surrounding regions.
  • China-Pakistan- Tajikistan :-
    • China confirmed its support to peace building and the mediation process between Pakistan and Afghanistan.Engaging in several multilateral and regional efforts towards Afghanistan, China has additionally played an active role in the Heart of Asia process.
    • China has taken many steps, including increasing its anti-terrorism cooperation with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. The quartet have agreed to establish a ‘four-country mechanism’ to share intelligence and training
    • Joint patrols with the Afghan authorities looking to fill the vacuum which the complete draw-down of US forces from Afghanistan will herald.
  • Integrating counter-terrorism strategy to political, economic and social development policies is another part of the comprehensive approach.

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