Updated: May 26
Junior Research Analyst,
Afghanistan has suffered a great deal from the war on security issues, terrorism, political crisis and economic stability since the United States of America occupation back in 2001. On the 29th of February 2020 the United States of America entered into a conditional peace agreement with the Taliban, the contract stipulated the United States would withdraw its foreign troops if the Taliban uphold the terms in the peace agreement. President Trump said it had been a "long and hard journey" in Afghanistan. "It's time after all these years to bring our people back home," he said. Under the peace agreement, the Militants are not to allow Al-Qaeda or other extremist groups to operate in areas under their control. According to Trump “the Taliban have been trying to reach an agreement with the United States for some time, according to him The United States has been killing terrorist group in Afghanistan and it was time for someone else to do the work, it could be the Taliban or it could be the neighbouring countries, I really believe the Taliban wants to do something to show we are not all wasting our time” Trump further stated, if bad things happen we will go back with a force that no one has ever seen. The United States of America invaded Afghanistan weeks after the terrorist attack the U.S suffered in the September 2001 attack by the Afghanistan-based terrorist group al-Qaeda, since then the U.S has occupied Afghanistan, since the occupation of U.S troops, more than 2,400 of the U.S troops have been killed during the conflict. About 12,000 are still stationed in the country. President Trump has promised to put an end to the conflict.
In a region that is widely contentious. Political stability in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Iran can have an effect and impact on Afghanistan. Regional competition between India and Iran has an effect on Afghanistan. Most of the challenges in Afghanistan that are seen to be domestic are regional.
The Afghanistan and Taliban peace talks would bring about the much-needed economic growth among neighbouring countries
Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries are closely bound. The constructive partnership between Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries is essential to the stability of the region. Just as the ability of Afghanistan to overcome its political and economic crises would be beneficial and have a deep bearing on the development and security of the region, the foreign policies and domestic stability of neighbouring countries would, in turn, ensure the progress of Afghanistan. Peace in Afghanistan could contribute to the well-being of neighbouring countries if Afghanistan reclaims its past as a bridge between neighbouring countries. The long-term stability and security of Afghanistan will help the global trade of neighbouring countries and also bring about the increased potential for prosperity in Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries. The conflict in Pakistan is deeply rooted in the events in Afghanistan. The relationship between both countries has been characterized by distrust and hostilities.
The need to have an equitable and broad-based economy is a major challenge for Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries, cross border trade would build trust among neighbouring countries. The peace talks would ensure that neighbouring countries that are being influenced by the activities in Afghanistan would also witness peace. When there is peace there would be increased economic activities within neighbouring countries and also between them.
The Afghanistan and Taliban peace talks have the capability of reducing the radicalization of youths and bringing about peace in Pakistan. Pakistan has witnessed a massive increase and severity of violence involving Islamic fundamentalist groups or militant sectarian groups since 2001. This incident carried out by groups or military operations targeting them has accounted for more deaths than any type of violence in Pakistan since 2005. Although the incidents take place in areas bordering Afghanistan, all parts of the country at one point or the other has witnessed the effect of the violence. The ability of these groups to recruit the youth is a huge threat in establishing peace in the region. Some sections of the Pakistan military establishment have seen the instability in Afghanistan as an opportunity to exert their military influence in the country. Given the destabilizing effect of this peace talks between Afghanistan and Taliban in the short term, there is a possibility that this military establishment will seek to maintain or expand its strategy in reinvigorating its ties with armed groups or Taliban. If this does happen it would result in security crises in Pakistan and Afghanistan and would also empower extremist groups in Pakistan.
Civil society participants have agreed that the peace talks have the potential to have a stabilizing effect in neighbouring countries, it can be a great catalyst to propel the region to unlimited peace and stability. Many neighbouring countries are now accepting the fact that for their country to be prosperous and stable Afghanistan needs to be stable, if the peace talks can address some of the factors responsible for the instability in Afghanistan, for example, establishing the foundation for a strong and self-sustaining economy, the neighbouring countries will also benefit. Any improvement in Afghanistan has the potential to have a knock-on impact for all its neighbouring states.
The peace talks would bring about confidence-building measures among neighbouring countries, the confidence-building among neighbouring countries will be the foundation for an improved relation among neighb