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Afghan HPC’s Policies Toward the Taliban a Failure

24 September 2014
The Afghan High Council of Peace (HPC) has admitted that their efforts in bringing the Taliban on board for peace talks have been unsuccessful.
The HPC was formed in 2010 after the establishment of a peace commission to facilitate negotiations with the Taliban. At least 1,600 representatives from all around the country were in favor of the HPC and optimistic about its ability to restore peace in the country. However, HPC's efforts have not proved successful despite the support of the people and provincial committees.
“We accept that we have not been successful in restoring peace or talking with Mullah Omar and other Taliban leaders," HPC member Mohammad Ismail Qasimyar said. "Pakistan has been a major barrier on the way; they don't want the talks to be successful."
Reports indicate that some Taliban leaders such as Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Mullah Turabi and Mullah Mujahid showed inclination toward peace talks, but they were imprisoned and silenced by the Pakistani military.
“Pakistani military was always a few steps ahead to ensure that our efforts for peace were not successful," Qasimyar added.
Since the HPC's establishment, the Taliban have continued to respond to its message of peace with bombs and bullets.
HPC Chief Burhanuddin Rabbani was assassinated after an insurgent detonated explosives hidden in his turban pretending to have brought a message of peace from the Taliban.
Throughout his presidency, especially in his later years, outgoing President Hamid Karzai referred to the Taliban as his brothers, proving to his critics to believe that his policy of appeasement has been ineffective.
As his presidency comes to an end, Karzai has admitted that despite traveling to Pakistan about 20 times, his negotiations with the Pakistani government have remained inconclusive.
“We made many efforts for the restoration of peace,” Karzai said addressing the nation during his farewell event. “The U.S. is unwilling and Pakistan wants us to recognize the Durand line.”
Restoration of longstanding peace and security is one of the most important challenges for the new government. Pakistan's substantial role in any successful peace negotiations with the Taliban is undeniable. However, the Pakistani government's policy toward the new Afghan government remains uncertain.