Recently, the Afghan politicians and the Taliban met in Moscow, Russia, in hopes to end a war which has been going on for decades.
The co-founder of the Taliban, Abdul Ghani Baradar, emerged for the first time in a public meeting about their desires to end the war. His presence alone, with his comments, gave hope for peace talks for Afghanistan.
Baradar stated at the meeting, “The Islamic Emirate is firmly committed to peace, but the first step is to remove obstacles and end the occupation of Afghanistan.”
The U.S. currently has 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, and the Taliban has demanded full withdrawal before they will even talk about peace. They have repeated this request several times as the U.S. is leading the war.
Baradar sat next to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as he addressed the Afghan power brokers who are rivals against Ashraf Ghani.
There were no members of the Kabul government in attendance. Lavrov made the statement before Baradar said his comment that he too wants all foreign troops out of Afghanistan so that a political solution can be made to put an end to the war.
Russia was crushed in their decade long war in 1989 and has been gearing up before plans are drawn from Washington to depart.
President Trump stated troops will be downsized after peace agreements have been settled. Russia has its military on standby at the northern edge of Afghanistan since the talks between the United States and the Taliban have also been happening.
Baradar was arrested in 2010 by American and Pakistan agents and was released from jail. The American government sent out this request because of Zalmay Khalilzad, a U.S negotiator, felt Baradar would work out the peace talks.
Baradar is a political strategist who is believed to have resurrected the Taliban regime after the American invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11.
There was also peace talks which took place behind closed doors in Qatari Doha where Baradar appeared. With his presence in Moscow this week, it seems as though he will be the new face of the Taliban. This appears to be a good sign, as this is the second meeting this month with the topic of peace in mind.
Baradar showed up in black-rimmed glasses with 14 other Taliban members as they made a dramatic entrance at the hotel and climbing up the stairs as a team with great unity.
Tuesday they met with the Russian and Afghanistan members and today they are meeting with 25 members of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, Hamid Karzai who is the former president, Afghanistan’s former national security advisor, Hanif Atmar, Atta Mohammad Noor, Mohammed Mohaqeq, and other influential leaders.
Atmar is a serious contender for September’s elections, putting out the current president after five years in office.
The women in Afghanistan are the only ones who are afraid of the peace talks and any deals that may come of it. They are worried all their rights will end if peace occurs and the Taliban takes over. All of their hard work to gain their rights would be in jeopardy.
The Taliban promises their rights will be safe as long as they observe the Islamic principles. The women feel there is too much interpretation if the Taliban regains control.
Women rights activist Tajwar Kakar, who was at the meeting stated, “We will continue to press the issue of women’s rights, so they understand what is at stake. The Taliban are also Afghans. We should all work for the same goal of peace.”
The worry from the women is legit as they have been suppressed for centuries and have come a long way. For the world, what does this mean if peace is achieved through these talks? It would be a dream come true for many. People who lived in the Mideast only know of wars. For women, they could get the best of both worlds if the Taliban stays true to their word and keep the peace.
Could it be the Taliban is tired and really wants to end the fighting?
Or could it be they want to see what there is in the offers and negotiations? This is just as exciting as our U.S. president talking peace with North Korea.
Nations which never got along with each other are talking.
The same applies here as none of these three groups have ever gotten along. It is worth giving it a chance, peace always is.