Afghanistan Taliban United States America Government
Afghanistan Taliban United States America Government

The US administration and the Taliban, the fundamentalist movement ousted from power in 2001, are to sign an agreement on Saturday in Doha, Qatar, to prepare for an exit from the United States from an endless conflict and to launch peace talks. -afghans. Decryption with Karim Pakzad, a researcher at Iris.

Afghanistan to experience historic event Saturday, February 29, with the signing of a historic agreement between the United States and the Taliban, the fundamentalist movement ousted from power in 2001, to take place in Doha, Qatar. Unthinkable a few years ago, this agreement aims at a gradual withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in exchange in particular for security guarantees and the opening of inter-Afghan peace talks.

If it will allow the United States to emerge from the longest war in its history (nineteen years), launched in October 2001 in response to the September 11 attacks, the Taliban, for their part, will return to the first plan in Afghanistan.

To decipher this major event for Afghanistan, whose future remains very uncertain, France 24 interviewed Karim Pakzad, a researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (Iris), a specialist in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

How do you analyze the conclusion of this agreement, which was unimaginable a few years ago?

Karim Pakzad: It is historic: the Americans have been at war with the Taliban since 2001. A hard and deadly conflict, considered across the Atlantic as the longest in the history of this country. Washington spent roughly one trillion dollars and lost nearly 2,400 soldiers in Afghanistan, without winning the war. By ending military operations between the two parties, this agreement, which is ultimately the result of two failures – that of Washington and that of the Taliban – is beneficial for both parties. A few months before the American presidential election, for Donald Trump, it is undeniably a success, which he will be able to exploit during the campaign since the return of American troops to the house was one of his electoral promises. He had even threatened to leave Afghanistan unconditionally. For the Taliban, who haven’t lost much, it’s also a success. Because even if they did not succeed in overthrowing the power in Kabul, or in driving out the American soldiers by the arms, they demonstrated their capacity to resist against the first military power of the world and against the massive presence of troops of the ‘NATO in the country, which amounted, between 2013 and 2014, to 150,000 soldiers. But above all, they can claim a certain victory since they obtained everything they wanted, in particular, the gradual and total withdrawal of the Americans. They are, from my point of view, the big winners of the agreement. they have demonstrated their ability to resist against the first military power in the world and against the massive presence of NATO troops in the country, which amounted, between 2013 and 2014, to 150,000 soldiers. But above all, they can claim a certain victory, since they obtained everything they wanted, in particular, the gradual and total withdrawal of the Americans. They are, from my point of view, the big winners of the agreement. they have demonstrated their ability to resist against the first military power in the world and against the massive presence of NATO troops in the country, which amounted, between 2013 and 2014, to 150,000 soldiers. But above all, they can claim a certain victory, since they obtained everything they wanted, in particular, the gradual and total withdrawal of the Americans. They are, from my point of view, the big winners of the agreement.

Finally, is not the loser of this agreement the Afghan power, which was excluded from the negotiations and in the sights of the Taliban?

Obviously, yes. The power of President Ashraf Ghani is the big loser in the affair, as attacks continue against the Afghan army and police. The peace agreement legitimizes the Taliban and puts them back on the political scene. During the negotiations, they were the ones who set the agenda for the peace process and categorically refused to allow the Kabul government to participate. At the same time, the Taliban were negotiating on the other hand with other Afghans, members of the opposition, former presidents, and even representatives of civil society. It was a total disavowal to Afghan power, which the Taliban consider an illegitimate government and in the pay of the Americans. But that’s not all, they also agreed, as part of the deal with the Trump administration, to participate in inter-Afghan negotiations which aim to define the future of the country and which are planned after the signing of this agreement. However, they set a condition for entering this second phase: not to negotiate directly with the Kabul government, but rather with a team representative of Afghan society.

How is this agreement perceived in Afghanistan?

After the signing of this agreement, a second phase will begin, a phase which concerns inter-Afghan peace talks, which will be much more complicated as the Taliban reach a position of strength at the negotiating table. In one way or another, they will be part of the political power of the country, moreover, their objective has always been to regain control in Afghanistan. The new generation, who, like society, is tired of war and wants peace, is very worried and fears that the Taliban will return to the fore. Many in Afghanistan remember their record when they were in power in Kabul and their relationship to freedoms. At the time, women were not allowed to leave their homes, work or study, music was prohibited. Today the Taliban claim to have changed, and not be the same as they were twenty years ago. They now say that Afghan women will have the right to work and study, but within the framework of Islam. It is a vague and ambiguous formula that depends on their definition of Islam. Will it be the same as it was twenty years ago when there were stonings? This is what worries women, young people, intellectuals, artists and Afghan civil society. when there were stonings? This is what worries women, young people, intellectuals, artists and Afghan civil society. when there were stonings? This is what worries women, young people, intellectuals, artists and Afghan civil society. 

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Dilnaz Shaikh
News and Editorial staff member at The Eastern Herald. Studied journalism in Rajasthan. A climate change warrior publishing content on current affairs, politics, climate, weather, and the planet.