Category Archives: Reconciliation Recent Developments

Return of warlord Hekmatyar adds to Afghan political tensions -Washington Post

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar addresses a special ceremony at the presidential palace in Kabul on May 4. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

 — When the fugitive warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar returned home to a lavish official welcome last month, abandoning his 16-year insurgency and forgiven for a history of wartime abuses, he was ­expected to quickly take up the cause of peace and set a conciliatory example for Taliban insurgents.

Instead, the fiery Islamist leader has landed like a bombshell in the roiling world of Afghan politics, publicly insulting President Ashraf Ghani, reneging on a pledge to disarm several thousand loyal fighters, and leaving the stunned capital wondering if inviting him back was a huge mistake.

At 69, Hekmatyar cuts an avuncular and scholarly figure, but his name still strikes fear and horror here. Once an anti-Soviet militia hero, he became …. Read More on Washington Post

Third American engagement in Afghanistan – The Nation

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit is going to be held on May 24-25, 2017. Apart from other various important security issues, NATO members will discuss Afghanistan’s security situation and most likely President Donald Trump will announce its policy on Afghanistan. According to international media reports, he will likely send five thousand American soldiers in Afghanistan. This will be the third American “military engagement” in Afghanistan since 2001. After the first American engagement in 2001, former President Obama tried to curb Afghan militancy in 2009 by sending more than 30,000 troops. It was called the “second American engagement in Afghanistan”. However, the second “engagement of the US” in Afghanistan could not bring desired results for the US. Currently, scholars are discussing about new surge of American troops and their objectives in Afghanistan. Why is Trump sending five thousand troops in Afghanistan?

It seems that President Trump wants to portray himself as a stronger and aggressive President as compared to his predecessor. Moreover, he also wants to show American public that he is radically different from former President. The NATO drawdown and presence of American non-combating forces was the strategy of former President. However, troops surge in Afghanistan Will… Read More on The Nation 

NATO Allies and partners reaffirm their Warsaw commitments to sustainable security in Afghanistan and to their strong partnership with Afghanistan – NATO OTAN

NATO Allies and operational partners contributing to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission met today (19 May 2017), at NATO Headquarters, to review ongoing efforts in support to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) and long-term stability in Afghanistan.

The President of Afghanistan, His Excellency Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the Commander of the Resolute Support Mission (General John W. Nicholson), and the NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan (Ambassador Cornelius Zimmermann) attended via video conference.

Attendants noted the continued progress made by the Afghan security forces and institutions, just over two years since assumption of full security responsibility by Afghanistan. They also underscored the importance to continue supporting the ANDSF through training, advising and assistance efforts by the Resolute Support Mission. The meeting marked the completion of a process of periodic review of…Read more on NATO OTAN

The Afghan Surge Trump Needs (The Pentagon wants more troops. But it’s the mission that matters.)-Politico Magazine


In the middle of everything else, President Donald Trump is expected to decide on his strategy for Afghanistan soon. The Pentagon wants more troops, and it’s not clear what the president will decide. Trump has said so little about America’s longest-running conflict that he has left us few clues about his intentions.

Countless strategies have emerged over the course of America’s longest war, now in its sixteenth year. None has worked. More than a dozen international terrorist groups operate along both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The Afghan security forces have fought bravely but lack adequate air power, leadership, retention rates and coalition support to stem the tide of a resurgent Taliban, which now controls more ground than at any point since 2001. Just last month, Taliban fighters managed to get through seven police checkpoints to a military base in Balkh where they slaughtered more than 150… Read More on Politico Magazine

Political will needed to banish terror: Wardak – Pajhwok Afghan News

KABUL (Pajhwok): Shared interest could guide the reconciliation and ultimate peace and stability in the region if there is a strong political for it, says the minister of parliamentary affairs.

Farooq Wardak said this in his inaugural speech at a 2-day seminar on Af-Pak reconciliation opportunities and challenges. The event was jointly organised by the Royal Danish Defence College (RDDC) and Regional Peace Institute (RPI).

Wardak called for the neighbours to move beyond pious statements to result-oriented discussions on key issues bedeviling Kabul-Islamabad ties.

“We have repeatedly heard that peace in Afghanistan means…. Read More on Pajhwok Afghan News 

Religious leaders call for peace to be institutionalized in Afghanistan’s northeast -Reliefweb International

KUNDUZ – Addressing residents of Baghlan and Takhar in televised roundtable debates, religious scholars emphasized the critical importance of institutionalizing the principles of peace at all levels of society, from the social to the political.

“Islam emphasizes peace as a fundamental principle and value,” said scholar scholar Mawlawi Mohammad Rasool Namani, speaking in one of the debates. “One of the responsibilities of religious leaders is to work for peace and encourage people to live in a peaceful environment.”

In the two debates, the panelists not only underscored the importance of peace in achieving sustainable development and overcoming social challenges, but also highlighted the achievements related to those turning from insurgency and joining society through the Afghan Peace and… Read More on Reliefweb International

Chinese factor clearer in Afghan peace process as regional ties deepen -Global Times China

Relations between China and Afghanistan are growing at a tremendous pace. Last year, Beijing not only played a vital role paving ground in the Afghan reconciliation process, but also helped the unity government in Kabul to improve law and order. Beijing is well-aware of the sensitive security situation in the war-devastated country. Chinese leadership is exploring all possible avenues to establish lasting peace in the neighboring country.

Currently, ties between China and Afghanistan stand on three pillars.

First, Beijing has focused energies on the return of lasting peace and stability in the war-torn country.

Beijing is playing a crucial role helping Kabul in the peace process. China was instrumental in convincing the regional players that Afghan problems need home-made solutions. China has… Read More on Global Times China

ISIS leader joins peace process with his 11 fighters in East of Afghanistan – Khaama Press

A local leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group’s offshoot in Afghanistan has joined peace process in Nangarhar province.

Provincial governor Ataullah Khogyani told reporters that Tawiz Khan joined peace process with his 11 fighters due to the ongoing efforts to attract the anti-government armed militant groups to reconciliation process.

Khogyani further added that the reconciliation process is being led by the Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS).

He said the group was previously conducting anti-government insurgency in Kot, Nazian, Achin, and Haska Mina districts.

According to Khogyani, the group was operating under… Read More on Khaama Press

Economic development and security the focus of UN-backed event in western Afghanistan – Reliefweb International

HERAT – Strategies to address the link between economic development and security were discussed by panellists at a UN-backed debate in the western province of Herat last week.

The debate, which was the third in a series of similar events supported by the Herat regional office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), drew an audience of around 20 people, including community elders, religious scholars, civil society representatives, government officials and journalists, each of whom raised issues and asked questions of the panel.

“Afghanistan has tremendous capabilities and resources, and if these resources were managed properly, the insurgency would diminish,” said Abdul Rahim, a Herat community leader and one of the panellists.

Nasir Ahmad, another panellist, said that beyond the need for economic development as one of the important factors in tackling insecurity, justice must be central to any…. Read More on Reliefweb International

Trump’s Afghanistan Reset Needs a Soft-Power Mission, Too – Defense One

Defense Secretary James Mattis, right center, consoles outgoing Afghanistan Defense Minister Abdullah Habibi the day he resigned, at Resolute Support headquarters, Kabul, Apr 24, 2017.

Reconciliation and peace-building can only occur if there is an open dialogue and people are working towards a shared, communal interest.

In the last several weeks, a series of events in Afghanistan have demonstrated how important it is that the U.S. seriously reassess its approach to America’s longest war. The decision to drop the “mother of all bombs” in Nangarhar province; Defense Secretary James Mattis’ surprise trip to Kabul; and the Taliban attack on Mazar-e-Sharif – taken together, they demonstrate the fragile and tumultuous situation the U.S. is facing in Afghanistan.

As President Donald Trump and officials in the White House, Pentagon, State Department, intelligence agencies, and Congress weigh new plans for Afghanistan, including sending up to 5,000 additional troops, there’s one key part of the U.S. arsenal they shouldn’t forget: our ability to… Read More on Defense One