Published On: Mon, Dec 24th, 2012

Paris Conference Concluded!

Outlook Afghanistan | December 24, 2012

For the first time, representatives of various factions involved in Afghan conflict came together to discuss the future of Afghanistan.

The two-day Paris conference concluded on Friday, 21 December. It was the first conference of its kind since the ouster of Taliban government in Afghanistan. The conference is deemed as an important step forward in involving Taliban in Afghanistans political mainstream.

For the first time, representatives of various factions involved in Afghan conflict came together to discuss the future of Afghanistan. Although the Taliban representatives remained confined to the contents of declaration they had brought with them, their participation in an international conference can be called a political win for the Afghan government.

The unpleasant point about the conference is that media was not allowed to directly cover it. Therefore, the Afghan people were somehow kept in dark on the details of the Paris conference. The people of Afghanistan have the right to remain informed about meetings, conference and other gatherings in which their future is discussed and related decisions are made.

The only information about the Paris conference available through media is the Talibans declaration in which they have demanded changes in the constitutional law of Afghanistan. Afghanistans present constitution has no value for us because it was made under the shadows of B52 bombers of the invaders, said the declaration, which was handed to participants during the meeting and later released to the media. Islamic Emirate, for the welfare of their courageous nation need a constitution that is based on the principles of the holy religion of Islam, national interest, historical achievements, and social justice, it read.

The Afghan government has not commented on the demand of Taliban. Conditions for Taliban to join the peace and integration process have been previously specified by the government: Taliban must accept the Afghan constitution, renounce violence and cut ties with al Qaida. To what extent the Afghan government is ready to give a positive respond to what Taliban demands and to what extent will the Taliban show readiness to accept the conditions set out by Afghan government are yet not known.

Indeed, negotiations on such demands and conditions can only take place, if the Taliban truly intents to talk and the Afghan people are kept in picture. Paris conference has concluded with Talibans representatives taking part in it. But there is no need to be overly optimistic about the intentions of Taliban. Their tactics and politics have been tricky and inconsistent.

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