US objective should be peaceful Afghanistan

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 17:51

Washington: With efforts on for Afghan-led negotiations with Taliban and other insurgent groups, an eminent American think-tank has reportedly said that the objective of the US should be a stable and peaceful Afghanistan that neither hosts nor collaborates with terrorists and terrorism.

In the latest report on Afghanistan, Rand Corporation said the American objective in these negotiations should be a stable and peaceful Afghanistan that neither hosts nor collaborates with international terrorists.

"Only to the extent that other issues impinge on this objective should American negotiators be drawn into a discussion of Afghanistan`s social or constitutional issues," it cautioned American negotiators.

"That qualification is significant, however, because constitutional issues will certainly affect Afghanistan`s stability, as may social provisions if they are likely to antagonize influential elements of the population," it said.

Rand recommended that Washington must work in order to secure the appointment of a figure of international repute with the requisite impartiality, knowledge, contacts, and diplomatic skills to take charge of putting together and then orchestrating a multitier negotiation process, one with the Afghans at its core as well as several concentric rings of regional and other interested governments actively but quietly engaged on the periphery.

With many international players having their stake in Afghanistan, Rand recommended that the US should seek the appointment of a United Nation’s endorsed facilitator to promote agreement among all the necessary parties to an Afghan peace process regarding a venue, participation, and the agenda for talks.

"We recommend that only the Afghan parties take formal part in the core negotiations over their country`s future but that all of the major external stakeholders, including India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States, conduct parallel, less formal discussions with a view to exercising
convergent influence on the Afghan parties," the report said.

This will not be easy, given the divergent interests and objectives of the various actors, it added.
According to Rand, public opinion in India will be generally averse to the inclusion of the Taliban or any other Islamic radical groups in a new Afghan governing structure.


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First Published: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 17:51

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