The Tashkent’s conference on Afghanistan

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By Usman                                                                                                                                         

Two-days 'Central-South Asia conference ‘was held at Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan on July 15th and 16th, 2021. Around 250 participants and 40 delegates from different countries have taken part in the conference titled as "The International Conference on Central and South Asia Regional Connectivity, Challenges and Opportunities". During the conference the accusations of Afghan president on Pakistan were highly disappointing. He said “the influx of ten thousands jihads fighters plunged into Afghanistan” have come to Afghanistan in the past month. Afghan government, instead of admitting their failures on the Afghan home-front and correcting their policy loop holes, Afghan government is busy in blaming Pakistan from the last decade. The Afghan president adopted an old rhetoric to put the responsibility of its blunders on the shoulders of Pakistan which is not more than disgusting.

Despite the fact, it is Pakistan which, hosted millions of Afghans on its land from more than two decades and seriously concerned at the deteriorating political situation in the war-torn country, where the Taliban are taking sweeping advances. Those participated sought a common pathway toward finishing the country’s escalating violence. The Chinese and Russian envoys criticized America’s hasty retreat and withdrawal of the US and NATO contingents from Afghanistan that has left power vacuum and destabilized the region, all this tilted in favor of Taliban practically. Taliban forces have captured dozens of districts and key border regions from the irresolute Afghan security forces and military as the US and NATO completing their withdrawal. The conference had originally been intended to deliberate on making better transportation relations across Central and South Asia, but that agenda was outplayed by the Taliban advances.

All the participants’ countries including the Pakistan, US, Russia, China and Afghanistan’s neighbors want to solve the Afghan conflict but it is difficult for them to find common solution to how salvage a peaceful settlement. The crisis in Afghanistan has led to complete chaos, civil war and the problem of illegal drug trafficking has reached an unprecedented scale and the real risks of instability spilling into neighboring countries also. During the conference the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman ridiculed and wrote on her channel on a messaging app a call by EU foreign policy Chief for collective efforts to help a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan. The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman truly said that “First, they create a problem and then search for those responsible and call for collective efforts.”

In recent weeks, the Taliban have captured dozens of strategic places and now hold key border crossings with Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan. Speaking to the conference, Pakistani Prime Minister said his country wants a peace settlement. He pointed out the Pakistan already hosts more than 2 million refugees from decades of war in Afghanistan and cannot handle a new flow that is likely if violence escalates.

“We will always be against a military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.” He also rejected allegations of Pakistan’s support for the Taliban as “extremely unfair,” said “Pakistan has done more than any other country to help put the Taliban at the negotiations table.” The relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan are inundated by deep, long-time misgivings. Kabul continually accused Islamabad of providing safe havens for the Taliban. It is also irony of the fact, that why the peace deal was not brokered and happened by Us-led American forces and Afghan warring groups  with Taliban at that time when the American forces were fully operational during the last decades. Now when the Taliban has an edge over all his opponents, it looks ridicules that they are talking about peace at the time.

Pakistan PM expressed concern over the worsening situation in Afghanistan and its negative impact on the security situation of Pakistan. Pakistan has also blamed Afghanistan of harboring the Pakistani Taliban, known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who has attacked in Pakistan, killing several army personnel. The Central Asian states, Russia and the US all have expressed a hope for a peaceful Afghanistan that included working with the Taliban. The Governments of C5 (five Central Asian countries) the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan have reiterated their stance for a durable peace in Afghanistan and also want to cooperate on regional security.

However, at the moment, the urgency of substantive negotiations on a political settlement to Create stable and prosperous conditions favorable to the Afghan peace process and formation of the next mutual government is foremost important thing. That should be acceptable to all Afghan groups, which is the only way out path to a lasting peace through a negotiated political settlement that would results in an inclusive political system and fundamental rights of all Afghans and to address challenges and threats to security, prosperity, and stability of not only Afghanistan but other regional countries as well.

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