- April 15, 2021
- Posted by: Nicholas Fitch
On 31 March 2020, the UN Security Council called on all parties to the conflict to declare a ceasefire so that the peace process could continue.   On 1 April 2020, it was reported that both the Taliban and the Afghan government had held personal talks the previous day, contrary to previous videoconference interviews in Kabul, and that they were being monitored by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).  However, the Afghan office of the National Security Council stated that the only progress made to date was “technical,” and Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid went on to say, “There will be no political discussions there.”  Apart from the talks, tensions also erupted between the Afghan government and the Taliban when the Afghan authorities blamed the Taliban for an explosion on 1 April 2020, which killed several children in Helmand.  On 2 April 2020, it was agreed that up to 100 Taliban prisoners would be released in exchange for 20 Afghan soldiers On 29 February 2020, the United States and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in Doha, Qatar, officially titled “Afghanistan Peace Agreement”.  The provisions of the agreement include the withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan, a Taliban promise to prevent Al Qaeda from operating in as-controlled areas and talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.  The United States has agreed to reduce its initial level from 13,000 to 8,600 by July 2020, followed by a total withdrawal within 14 months if the Taliban meet their commitments.  The United States also committed to closing five military bases within 135 days and announced its intention to end economic sanctions against the Taliban by August 27, 2020.  The four-part agreement between the United States and the Taliban required the United States to withdraw most of its soldiers from Afghanistan, which it did. In exchange, the Taliban assured that Afghanistan would no longer be used as a base for attacks against the United States and its allies. It also agreed to cooperate with the Afghan government. India.
New Delhi is a strong supporter of the Afghan government and has provided $3 billion since 2001 for infrastructure development and business maintenance in Afghanistan. Its main objectives are to minimize Pakistan`s influence and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a haven for anti-Independence activists. The Indian government did not reject U.S. efforts to reach an agreement with the Taliban and refused to legitimize the group as a political actor. In 2010, the Obama administration changed attitudes and put in place a strategy to allow for possible political negotiations to resolve the war.  The Taliban themselves had refused to speak to the Afghan government as an American “doll.” Sporadic efforts at peace talks between the United States and the Taliban then took place, and in October 2010 it was reported that Taliban commanders (the “Quetta Shura”) had left their sanctuary in Pakistan and were safely escorted by NATO aircraft to Kabul, with the assurance that NATO personnel would not arrest them.  At the end of the talks, it turned out that the head of that delegation, which claimed to be Akhtar Mansour, the second taliban commander, was in fact a crook who had deceived NATO officials.  As a result, the Afghan government was not a party to the U.S. Taliban agreement.