BY ARSHAD A.MALIK
The draft peace agreement between the US and Taliban bounds the US Army to complete withdrawal from Afghanistan in 14 months, while the Taliban have ensured that they will not attack the troops during the process. The Organisation Islamic Cooperation, Russia, China and Qatar are the guarantors of the agreement.
According to the draft agreement claimed by the Taliban and acquired from sources, the US Army would not take action against the Afghan militants. Following the announcement of withdrawal by the foreign forces, the Afghan government will hold negotiations with the Taliban on formation of a future government. The Taliban have assured that they will neither allow the Afghan territory to be used for any terror activity nor will they interfere in the internal issues of other countries. As a goodwill gesture both parties to the conflict will release their captives. The Taliban also agreed to ensure fundamental rights of the people, including women with a caveat of “in accordance with the Islamic Shariah and Afghan traditions” . They have also assured the international community of allowing full freedom of speech and media making it conditional with the “interests of the state and fundamentals Islams.”
The draft agreed between the Emirate of Islamic Afghanistan and the US which has now been sent to President Donald Trump for approval following which the documents would be signed. The marathon peace talks were held at Doha, Qatar and the following salient points of the wide ranging accord were clinched between the warring parties.
1- The US government assured that all the foreign forces, advisors, and others involved in the peace talks would be unconditionally withdrawn. Both the countries will maintain bilateral and diplomatic relations under the international law and would respect each other’s sovereignty.
2- The Emirates of Islamic Afghanistan will ensure that its soil is not allowed for terrorism against any country and also will not interfere in the internal issues of other countries.
3- Afghanistan is the land of Afghans and Emirates of Islamic Afghanistan would not allow any foreign national to use the Afghan soil against any sovereign country nor interfere in the internal affairs of others.
4- The US will completely withdraw its army including NATO forces within 14 months, and all the foreign forces will leave Afghanistan according to the agreed schedule which is the fundamental part of the agreement.
5- The Emirates of Islamic Afghanistan would not attack the army or its supplies during the withdrawal process, likewise the US has assured that it will not attack the Taliban during the withdrawal and the US will also not provide military support to the Afghan government against Taliban.
6- The US will ensure that intra-Afghan talks between the Afghan counterparts are held within a month after the withdrawal of the foreign forces.
7- The Emirates of Islamic Afghanistan is prepared for such a government which is acceptable to all the stakeholders, inclusive of all the ethnic and political forces and where every Afghan would have his or her representation.
8- The Emirates of Islamic Afghanistan agreed to allow individual and collective rights to every citizen, including women according to the Islamic Shariah and the Afghan traditions, with freedom of speech and media while upholding the interests of the state and the Islamic fundamentals paramount.
9- As a gesture of sincerity and confidence building, the coalition forces and the Afghan government will release Taliban political prisoners on humanitarian grounds and those who could not be convicted will be released unconditionally. The Taliban will also reciprocate the terms and release Afghan soldiers, civilians and other prisoners being held by them.
10- The Emirates of Islamic Afghanistan ensure that by the time of completion of the coalition troops withdrawal, they will hold talks with the Afghan government for establishing an Islamic government after ceasefire agreement with them.
11- The agreement reached between the Emirates of Islamic Afghanistan and the US consists of 11 clauses and two sub-clauses. The representatives of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Russian Federation, People’s Republic of China and Qatar will sign as guarantors. While Taliban’s Advisor on Political Affairs Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar would sign on behalf of the Emirates of Islamic Afghanistan and the US Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo will also sign the documents.