Here is One Way to Achieve Lasting Peace in Afghanistan

An enemy who does not believe in peace negations must be crushed or compelled to end the war.

afghanistan-lasting-peace-talks

Former Taliban militants at a ceremony in Jalalabad at which they laid down arms under a US-backed Afghan government amnesty. Credit: Abdul Mueed/EPA

“If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

These magical words of the prominent Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi guided the great Indian nation to overcome 100 years of British occupation and slavery by tolerance, sacrifices and non-violence struggle.

However, the similar policy of Afghan President Hamid Karzai couldn’t convince the Taliban terror movement to negotiate a political settlement, which would lead to a lasting peace and stability massively desired by Afghans.

There has been no single national event where President Karzai remains silent about calling on Taliban for peace negotiations. While he seems to be overdoing Gandhi’s concept of compassion by calling the Taliban “brothers,” the Taliban reaction is always harsh, barbaric and hostile to Karzai’s peace overtures.

The Taliban has so far not only rejected peace talks with the Afghan government but they also increased their offensive through sending more suicide bombers and terrorists to disrupt Afghan life.

Since the United States intervention of Afghanistan in 2001, Taliban have killed thousands of Afghan and coalition forces. However, the Taliban have also killed scores of innocent Afghan men, women and children.

While the Taliban rejected peace with the Afghan government, the Afghan people continue to strive for an end of conflict so they can achieve real change and security. Although many believe negotiations hold the key to peace, the recent Sri Lankan government stance against the Tamil rebels introduced a perfect remedy to reach a lasting agreement. Since the Afghan government has now formal and friendly relations with Sri Lanka, it is time for the upcoming Afghan government to use neighborly experience in bringing peace to Afghanistan.

The Sri Lanka example

Sri Lanka is an island country in South Asia with 20 million populations. The people of Sri Lanka suffered a brutal 25-year insurgency of Tamil Tigers for an independent Tamil state. This war has left more than 70,000 Sri Lankan dead and thousand others wounded and disabled. The Tamils are mostly dominated ethnic group in the eastern and northern part of Sri Lanka which makes 12 percent of the Sri Lankan population.

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A group of 10,000 insurgents known as Tamil tigers, representing the Tamil ethnic group began their armed struggle in 1983 for an independent Tamil state. This struggle for independence by Tamil Tigers was not a nonviolent Gandhi-style struggle. It was more like the Taliban struggle. However, the Tamil and Taliban don’t share a common goal but both share a common strategy – a strategy of violence, brutal killings, and suicide bombings.

In 2002 the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers reached a ceasefire. However just a year later the Tamil Tigers dropped out of the negotiations accusing the government of marginalizing the Tigers, and soon started their terrorist activities.

When several attempts by the Sri Lankan governments failed to make a peace deal with the Tigers, the government of Sri Lanka decided to crush the rebels in 2008. Sri Lanka succeeded in defeating the Tigers in May 2009, ending the two decade long civil war.

Today Afghanistan stands in the same position as Sri Lanka was in 2008.

The people of Afghanistan are exhausted from the Taliban. The next Afghan government should show no mercy to enemies of peace in Afghanistan. The government must carry out a strong military offensive against terrorists and terrorist leadership.

It is vital for the Afghan government to freeze the financial resources of the Taliban and cut off their safe heavens in Pakistan by enhancing security control on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Pursuing such measures is a daunting task for the Afghan government. However Kabul has powerful allies such as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Turkey in the war against terrorism to assist the Afghan government in defeating the Taliban.

An enemy who does not believe in peace negations must be crushed or compelled to end the war. Though some people may consider this as an anarchist move, Afghans can no longer tolerate Taliban violence.

After all, Afghans – like every other nation in the world – have the right to live in peace and security. This can only be achieved when hostility is ended; either through a peace deal or the death of the enemy.

Ahmad Hasib Farhan is a graduate of Kabul University and holds a Master degree from Japan in Public Policy and Economics. Farhan is an Afghan analyst and commentator on political and socio-economic affairs in Afghanistan. Farhan can be reached at haseebnadiri@gmail.com. Read other articles by Ahmad.