The Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan regretted on Tuesday Iran’s absence in meetings of Troika Plus (China, Russia, the US, and Pakistan) on Afghanistan. Speaking at a meeting at the Moscow-based think tank Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, Zamir Kabulov said Iran was suggested to be the fifth participant of the Troika Plus, but because of the differences between Washington and Tehran, the latter refuses to take part in work of any format with the participation of the US. “We regret it because we really lack Iran as a partner at this stage when it is important for us, together with Pakistanis, Chinese, and Americans, to move the process of political regulation in Afghanistan from the dead point,” Kabulov said. Kabulov added that personally, he considered Iran and Pakistan the most important and influential players in the Afghan peace process.
He also said he does not expect further talks on the Afghan settlement to go smoothly, adding that real diplomacy is not based on emotions but rather on interests and opportunities. According to the diplomat, about two-thirds of the Taliban believe that they will be able to achieve more through intra-Afghan negotiations than through military operations. The Taliban does not pose any threat to the Central Asian states, the movement never attempted to violate, cross, or threaten the border of Afghanistan’s northern neighbor, Kabulov noted.
Zamir was of the view that there are numerous international terrorist organizations including ISIS in Northern areas of the country and these groups are no less harmful and cooperate with each other for tactical reasons. According to Kabulov, these groups can undermine the stability in Afghanistan’s neighboring states while taking advantage of the chaotic situation in the Country. He said that the Taliban have been actively fighting ISIS all these years, which cannot be said about America and NATO, or Afghan government. Zamir said that the very presence of the Taliban in these territories will deter growing threats from ISIS and other international terrorists against Central Asian states.
According to Putin’s Special envoy, there is no proof that Taliban movement pose any threat to the security of the Central Asian countries in near future or tried to cross the borders with neighboring Countries. During his address, Zamir also enumerated America’s strategic mistakes in Afghanistan including imposition of its ideas of democracy on the Afghan people, and establishment of extensive military bases in Afghanistan to project its military might over the entire adjacent region.
Apparently, Russian Special Envoy projected prospective of his country regarding the current Situation in Afghanistan, however independent optics view the Afghan situation a bit different from the Kabulov.
The importance of Taliban as military and political power of Afghanistan cannot be denied and their rivalry with ISIS is also evident. Since from the emergence of the Taliban movement their concentration remained toward domestic affairs and they did not create problems for the neighboring countries so far. The Russian SVR has rightly informed Russian Special Envoy for Afghanistan regarding safe havens of terrorist organizations in Northern and Eastern Parts of the Country. It would be important to mention that US troops and Afghan Army rarely operated against other terrorist groups except Taliban therefore numerous regional separatist and terrorist groups found hideous places easily in the Country.
According to reports, more than a dozen anti-Pakistan terrorist groups including TTP, BLA, BLF and others have their training and logistics bases in Afghanistan. Similarly, anti-Iran and anti-China groups had been enjoying safe heavens in US occupied Afghanistan during the past. Seemingly, US and Afghan Intelligence Agencies knowingly provided space to these terrorist groups for the purpose of their strategic use against the neighboring countries.Afghan parties must realize the suffering and miseries of their countrymen and think above their political and party interests to achieve peace and prosperity in the country.