Bilateral talks have been going on over the last one year in the Qatari capital, Doha between US and Taliban to end the war waged between US forces on the one side and Taliban fighters on the other. But news from Doha tell that the talks have been adjourned without any firm decision about a truce or a peace deal.
Taliban spokesman Dabihullah Mujahid has informed in a statement that now only after consulting their respective leadership can either party proceed further in the discussions. In fact, the Doha negotiation itself was initiated by US President Donald Trump to pave the way for withdrawal of the 14,000 American soldiers who have been playing active rol in the military operation against Taliban in Afghanisn and in the process to gain the reputation of being instrumental in re-establishing peace in that country. But despite the two sides having sat for eight rounds of discussions, the talks did not come to fruition. Further, Taliban has been launching fresh attacks each day, killing US-Afghan soldiers and capturing new territories. Latest reports indicate that more than half of the country is under Taliban control. Official forces are on the defensive on all fronts.
There has been no representation allowed for Afghan government. It was Taliban's opposition that prevented the Kabul regime being a party. The soldiers remainig in Afghanistan, are the balance of forces after what President Barack Obama withdrew. The NATO forces had descended on Kabul with a declared objective of capturing Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, following the outfit's sudden terrorist attack on World Trade Centre in New York and Pentagon headquarters on 11 Sep 2001. When the US, after years of search, succeeded in capturing Osama in hiding in a house in Pakistan's border town of Abottabad and in killing him, the US had a golden opportunity to quit the war-torn country. But since they had a vested interest in propping up the captive government installed by them in Kabul, the US forces had to undertake that arduous and mostly defensive mission to save Hamid Karzai and his coterie that was ruled the country between 2001 and 2014.
However, the US was forced to withdraw the majority of its forces, leaving behind 20,000 soldiers with the ostensible objective of training the native army. And now Trump initiated the conciliatory talks with Taliban, in a nearly catapulting posture, solely driven by the realization that his administration has to somewhow wrigge out of the Afghan quagmire, which has attracted huge anger and protest within the country. But despite several rounds of discussions, Taliban has been firm on its stand that all decisions through discussions should be taken only after the full withdrawal of US forces. Further, the proposal that the future Afghan government would be formed jointly by Afghan reprsentatives with US support and Taliban, is not acceptable to the latter. Taliban's stance derives from its confidence that it can fight indefinitely from its positions in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan and from the fact that the US's puppet regime does not enjoy popular support. What emerges thence is a situation in which the US will have to withdraw its forces without getting its conditions accepted by the other party.
Through experience during the time Taliban was in power in Kabul, the world had seen that it is not an entiry consistent with the thoughts and actions befitting a modern, civilized era. Even in the Muslim world, the majority do not favour or support it. If in spite of this it is able to challenge and create panic in a super power like America, its roots will have to traced to the brave legacy of Afghan resistance and their tribal moorings. Given that the Afghans had been able to bring Brezhnev's Soviet forces to their knees and push them back, it would be a huge mistake to calculate that they will fear the Yankee forces or withdraw in trepidation. This also proves the lesson that one has to think thrice before meddling with the freedom and self-respect of a people. That said, even a US-backed Kabul government would have been able to hold out, had it got the unstinted support of the various tribal groups of Afghanistan. But a government that is nothing more than a mercenary force incapable of reading the people's sentiments or doing anything to meet their primary needs, would not be able to defend itself to any extent. And the very force under which it sought shelter, is now seen jettisoning its stooge when forced to save its own skin. That way, events in Afghanistan are a lesson for ever to all opportunistic turncoats who betray their conscience.