Moving towards Peace in Afghanistan

Building on the sustained engagement of previous years, Pugwash continues to hold meetings seeking a way forward on the future of Afghanistan.  In recent months, rounds of meetings have been held in Afghanistan and in Doha, with over one hundred people drawn from Afghani tribal and civic life having participated.

Kabul meeting, May 2016

Under discussion were ideas for a possible peace agreement with the Taliban movement that could bring about a ceasefire (without entering into details). Pugwash has worked on a document for some points that could be considered in a possible agreement between the Taliban movement and the Government of Afghanistan. In his preface to this, Secretary-General Paolo Cotta-Ramusino notes:

After 37 years of war (and foreign invasions), the people of Afghanistan are strongly looking for the restoration of peace. Everybody is tired of war. The continuing military confrontation between the forces of the Government and of the Taliban will not give any meaningful “victory” to either side. So there is an urgent need of a compromise and an agreement in order for weapons to be finally laid down over the entire territory of Afghanistan.

Points for Afghan Peace (English)

Points for Afghan Peace (Pashto)

Points for Afghan Peace (Dari)

A Peace Jirga was held by local groups on 23 June 2016, supporting Pugwash proposals for peace in Afghanistan. Below is a press release issued by them and photos of the event in Kabul.

Afghanistan Peace Jirga, English Press Release

Western officials in Kabul say Pugwash is offering the Afghan government an opportunity to explore the possibility of a cease-fire without the pressure of official talks.”

After Drone Strike, Uncertain Path to Afghan Peace,” Wall Street Journal, 19 June 2016

In addition to the numerous consultations and meetings in Afghanistan, including in Kabul and the tribal areas, see also the reports of the recent major meetings:

The tone of the meeting offered a sense of promise. The government’s side included several women, and one told The Journal that she found the Taliban surprisingly forthcoming with all the delegates… informal talks can, over time, pave the way to formal negotiations and possibly peace.

An Opening for Afghan Peace Talks,” New York Times editorial, 6 May 2015