US, Taliban set to sign historic peace deal today

Peace deal to end 20 years war in Afghanistan

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United States and Taliban are all set to sign a historic peace agreement to bring an end to 20 years of war in Afghanistan. Representatives of both sides have reached the Qatari capital Doha to sign the historic agreement, which will pave the way for and end to conflict in the impoverished country.

Pakistan has played an important role in bringing the US and Taliban on the negotiating table to make sure peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi has told reporters in Doha that his country had played a key role in success of negotiations between US and Taliban. Qatari government has also invited Mr. Qureshi to witness the signing of agreement in Doha today.

According to journalists present in Doha for coverage of the agreement, Taliban’s chief of peace council, Mullah Ghani Brader is expected to sign the agreement with US. However, the US Secretary of State is expected to sign the deal with Taliban. Though, the US has not made any announcement in this regard.

Mullah Ghani brother is considered to be one of the founding members of Taliban movement in 1994 and a close aide of late Mullah Muhammad Omar, Taliban’s supreme leader. Mullah Ghani had served to be the Governor of Herat and chief of army during Taliban government in Afghanistan. He was one of those Taliban leaders who launched war against Afghan warlords in Spin Boldak in 1994.

As far as the agreement is concerned, the US would release around 5000 Taliban militants. Similarly, the Taliban would set free over 1000 Afghan forces, government officials and others as reciprocal move.

Under the agreement, the US would announce withdrawal of its troops and Taliban would announce to start intra-Afghan dialogue as part of reconciliation to pave the way for permanent peace in the war-ravaged country, Mushtaq Yousafzai who works with various national and international news organizations said.

A large number of journalists from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Middle East and from other international media organizations have reached Doha, the Qatari capital to cover the historic agreement.

Taliban government was ousted by US in the aftermath of deadliest bombing on September 11, 2001 at World Trade Center and Pentagon. The then US President George W. Bush announced to take revenge and on the night falling between 7th and 8th October 2001, US planes bombed Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar e Sharif.

Taliban’s stronghold Kandahar also fell to US led allied forces in December. And finally, Hamid Karzai, an ethnic Pashtoon was made as the interim head of Afghan government at Bonn conference held on Decermber 5 and 6, 2001.

Karzai ruled over the country for more than eight years. Peace in the war-torn country could not be produced through the barrel of gun for last 20 years. US and allied forces launched a series of military operations against Taliban. But Taliban resistance continued. Over 100000 US troops were deployed in Afghanistan under Barrack Obama plus thousands of NATO troops but peace could not be restored. Subsequently, US under Donald Trump initiated meaningful dialogue and the final date was fixed for signing of agreement today.

Experts believe that peace in the country, which has been under the grip of civil war for last four decades can only be achieved through formation of a broad-based political government with representation of all groups.

 

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