With the Afghan Taliban taking control of the country in the aftermath of the withdrawal of US forces, neighboring Pakistan appears to be worried over the likely security implications. This blog post highlights how the situation in Afghanistan might affect the security situation in Pakistan.
Withdrawal of NATO troops – Comeback of the Taliban?
Although peace agreements in armed conflicts in which at least one party has framed its demands in religious language are rare, they do exist. In particular, peace agreements have been reached with certain kinds of Islamist groups. After several rounds of unofficial and official negotiations, and a military stalemate between Afghan and NATO forces and the Taliban, former U.S. President Trump announced a peace agreement with the group in February 2020. However, after President Biden’s recent announcement to unconditionally withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan, the prospects for an agreement or even a ceasefire between the Taliban and the Afghan government seem bleaker than ever, with the Taliban resurging and U.S. diplomatic leverage decreasing.
After the Afghan Eid Truce, Is There a Path for Peace?
The three day surprise and the unprecedented Eid-al-Fitar  truce (15-17 June, 2018) between the Afghan government and the Taliban was welcomed locally and internationally. The truce was offered by the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani after the condemnation of extremism and violence by religious scholars and clerics in Jakarta and Kabul. It was for the first time in the last 17 years that Afghans have celebrated the occasion with joy and without fears of war and violence. The Taliban fighters without fright of arrest or detention entered the cities, villages and towns to offer Eid-Prayers and met their fellow countrymen and family members. The internet and local media have captured scenes of Afghan soldiers and Taliban fighters embracing each other. The truce was welcomed with the hope that this might be the first important step towards a long enduring path of peace in the country.