The war on terror in Afghanistan has entered into its 19th year of conflict. The US administration under Biden has finally decided to withdraw its troops from the country. However, there still exists a number of risk factors that could prove to be a catalyst for more conflicts. These include such as, structural risk factors and population size. Most importantly, there can be resentment towards the new government. Likewise, the way the whole structural framework of the population is categorized plays a very integral role. Afghanistan has been a focal point for decades for western powers. Either it is for the English people or the Americans. However, because of its important geopolitical situation, it has received great attention on a regional and global level.
Looking at the situation from a regional context, in order to bring sustainability to the region, peace in Afghanistan is a priority. Russia, Pakistan, and China have been actively engaged in bringing the Taliban and the government towards a peaceful dialogue which has pushed the US to move towards a durable peace process.
Capacity building of institutions at the national level is insufficient for a long-lasting peace process. Sustainable peace requires an international consensus between the stakeholders on how to move the country forward. This would include the engagement of the civilian agencies of Afghanistan with regional agencies to develop plans to effectively allow the peace process to move forward.
Russia in The Peace Process
In 2019, Russia took part in the Afghan Peace Process. The co-founder of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar made a statement. Baradar stated that foreign forces must withdraw as that’s a major obstacle to peace in Afghanistan. Resultantly, the Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov stated that “Moscow believes all foreign military forces should be withdrawn from Afghanistan”. On the other hand, Russia has also denied US unilateralism. Nonetheless, Russia would ultimately become a key player in the Peace Process.
China and Afghanistan
Furthermore, meetings took place between the Taliban and Chinese leadership for the Peace Process. Under the given circumstances, China is most likely to take the role of a third-party guarantor. There exists a major distrust between the Taliban, Kabul and the US. Therefore to cater to that, China’s role will be a pivotal one too. Subsequently, since day one, Pakistan is working towards ensuring peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan is making sure that peace prevails as it directly affects its western border. For Pakistan, peace in Afghanistan means peace at home. As a result of which, both countries have tried to maintain good diplomatic relations. Facilitations are necessary from regional powers. This should include everything from trade routes to security sector reforms.
In order for peace to exist in Afghanistan, there should be a focus on the talks between the Taliban and Kabul. The main aim should be of achieving a sustained ceasefire agreement. Through this, regional stakeholders must mobilize responsibly for efficient peace process measures.