Another peace gesture of Afghan government

In another gesture for peace, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani at a press conference on Tuesday confirmed that Anas Haqqani, Haji Mali Khan and Hafiz Rashid, three Haqqani Network commanders, would be “conditionally released” in exchange for the release of two Haqqani-held professors who were abducted while working for the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).
President Ghani said that the negotiation was made in close cooperation with the US with the “aim of facilitating face-to-face talks with the Taliban” for a peace settlement.  It was a “tough but important decision,” President Ghani said, which was influenced by the “critical” poor health of the two hostages from the American University. “In our indirect talks with the Taliban, we asked for their release,” he said.
“We have said that to reach a peace with dignity we have to pay this bitter price, but we will not sacrifice the rights of the people, our democratic principles, or women’s rights and achievements,” President Ghani said.
It is another peace gesture by the Afghan government for Taliban. Indeed, Afghan government has time and again reiterated its call for durable peace in the country. The president has offered unconditional peace talks and even releasing of a number of Taliban prisoners, aiming to facilitate direct peace talks.
Afghanistan as any other democracy has an elected president. It has a legitimate government that represents Afghanistan at the regional and international levels. As any government, it has to lead and manage the country. Therefore, Afghan government should be involved in any process which is relevant to Afghanistan.
Afghan peace talk is one of the national processes of the country. Any deal on the peace talks, to be good or bad, has direct consequences on Afghan citizens. If Afghan government is not a central part of the peace talks, it will not be acceptable for the Afghan government and any decision made by such a process neither would be acceptable and nor it would be implementable in the future; Because when Afghan government is not involved as a central part of the peace talks, there is nearly no guarantee to implement the peace deal. 
Now the ball is in the Taliban court to whether accept another Afghan government’s peace call or rejecting it. They have the choice to join Afghans for a prosperous and stable Afghanistan or would be suppressed by the Afghan forces.
As per the president’s remarks, the releasing of Taliban prisoners neither affect the Afghan combat moral nor would weaken Afghan people and government’s stance in war on terror, thus the militants would continue to suffer from their destructive activities.
Afghans are better negotiators and therefore intra-Afghan dialogue is likely to yield a positive result sooner. So, the support and cooperation of regional and global actors are crucial in facilitating intra-Afghan talks.
Now if regional stakeholders are concerned about Afghanistan’s security issue and seek to support the Afghan peace process, they have to take more practical steps and facilitate the intra-Afghan talks.

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