Why (at least) Somewhere Taliban’s Presence is Essential: The Bonn Meet.

Nothing is as desired as ‘peace’ in the World and no technique can substitute the technique of ‘negotiation’ to maintain it. Even after making this fact a fundamental element in the world’s political and socio-economic decisions, by almost all the countries of the world, it seems the decade’s most important meet tend to shut its eyes and ears from it. On 5th December, 85 countries and 15 international organizations gathered in Bonn, Germany, to remember the 10th anniversary of the international conference assembled after the overthrow of Taliban government. While Bonn I (2001) conference focused on providing a governing authority to Afghanistan, Bonn II (2011) is supposed to be an eye opener about the issues Afghanistan has been facing and dealing from the day Taliban is ostensibly removed.

But the fact, on the surface, remains..!!

Taliban has only been defeated and not erased from the face of the earth. It is an ideology against
which the world is fighting; that ideology prevails in the heart and soul of Taliban, the solution must focus on removing that. The prospects, in the growth and development of Afghanistan, remain uncertain if Taliban’s role is not clearly defined in its re-building process. Moreover, if ignored, they may become one of the biggest threats to India’s security because they have the heaven (Pakistan
occupied Kashmir) in their backyard to occupy and use to spread cross-border terrorism. External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who is representing India at the Bonn conference, rightly suggested for a Marshall-like plan involving all the major stakeholders, saying “Afghanistan today faces at least four deficits: a security deficit, a governance deficit, a developmental deficit, and an investment deficit… To address these deficits Afghanistan needs time, development assistance, preferential access to world markets, foreign investment and a clear end-state strategy to make sure that it does not once again plunge into lawlessness, civil war, and externally sponsored extremism and terrorism”.

On the one hand, Afghanistan wants to be free from being a puppet-country to be played by the
outsiders for their dramatic affairs; on the other hand, it also has to deal with the growing internal ideological tussle aired by the Taliban. Keeping that and US’s commitment to withdraw the remaining troops by 2014 in mind, Afghanistan cannot afford to ignore the representation of Taliban in its
internal development and planning process. No matter how many structural and fundamental changes the leaders in Bonn conference come up with, without the inclusion of the other half of the conflict, stability is least assured.

Dolly Jamwal