As per the recent peace developments over the past one week, promises are being made and steps being taken regarding the snail-paced peace process but there hasn’t been anything tangible seen in practice – primarily in terms of a fixed date for the launch of intra-Afghan parleys.
The Afghan Acting Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar has said the remaining hard-core Taliban inmates are going to be released by the end of this week to pave the ground for the launch of the long-anticipated intra-Afghan talks. Similarly, the Chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation has stated that the talks would begin by the end of this week; however, the Taliban have refuted that possibility and there are no specific details regarding the how and when of these talks.
The Taliban insurgent group has finalized its negotiating team for the intra-Afghan talks in Doha, the capital of Qatar, that have seemingly been delayed until an indefinite period due to lag in the prisoner release process.
Meanwhile, the Afghan government through a presidential announced the formation of the newly-established High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) led by Abdullah Abdullah. However, it seems there is no coordination on that front and differences exist over its creation. As soon as the list of members on the body was released, former president Hamid Karzai and Jamiat-i-Islami leader Salahuddin Rabbani revoked their memberships.
Hard on the heels of that, Chairman Abdullah scorned the presidential decree, saying the decree was unwanted because it was his authority to put together the list.
Against the backdrop of such a sluggish process and during the run-up to the all-Afghan talks, the ordinary masses continue to endure the raging violence. Hundreds of people from different provinces continuously urge authorities to immediately initiate the intra-Afghan talks, requesting the warring sides to announce a permanent ceasefire and put an end to the ongoing conflict which is taking the lives of many Afghans with each passing day.