After the recent Taliban refusal to hold direct dialogue, do you think the
stakeholders will be successful in bringing them to table for peace negotiations aimed at ending the deadly 14-year insurgency?

In the backdrop of the Afghan reconciliation process, and the cancellation of peace talks between the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QcG) of Afghanistan and the Taliban dissident group, CPGS conducted a poll to gauge whether the Pakistani public was still optimistic about the continuation of these peace negotiations.

Interestingly, most of the poll respondents did not foresee a resumption of talks in near future. 52.9 percent said  the stakeholders will not be successful in bringing the Afghan Taliban to table for peace negotiations. This pessemistic view comes across as Afghanistan is battling to end the on-going 14 year long insurgency.

The Afghan peace process took a step back after the news of Mullah Omer’s death was made public, in August 2015 and splinter groups emerged in the aftermath. It is feared that if the dialogue process is not resumed, the internal situation in Afghanistan might revert to that of the 1990’s where the country was embroiled in a civil war.

Pakistan, being an immediate neighbour of Afghanistan and sharing a border  of 2,250 km, has suffered heavily due to the continuous disruption in its backyard. It has time and time again voiced its concerns that the rising instability in Afghanistan can have serious implications in Pakistan in general and on the Federally Adiministered Tribal Areas (FATA), in particular. The efforts and achievements of the furiously fought, nationally supported and internationally appreciated military operation Zarb-e-Azb’s results might become futile or reverse completely.

Despite the presence of 9800 troops until 2024, through the Bilateral Security Agreement between the United States and Afghanistan government,  the resurgence of Taliban and flag bearing of ‘Islamic State’ (Daesh) on Afghan soil comprises a looming threat for the security of the region.

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