Moscow Format; A Giant Leap Towards Afghan Peace
After seeing the blood bathing by seventeen years of war in Afghanistan and its spillover effects on the entire region, the regional players yearn for a peaceful settlement of this burning issue. In this regard, Russia along with Pakistan and China has been ardently putting efforts to establish peace among the fighting factions. However, what surprises the world is the relentless criticism of Russia’s Afghan Peace Initiative by US and the US backed Kabul regime. Instead of appreciating Russian outreach for peace in Afghanistan, both Washington and Kabul have been bad mouthing Moscow’s efforts. Since 2016, Russian backed peace initiative has been censured by the pro-US elements involved in covertly supporting anti-peace agendas. As expected, this time again US and Afghan government initially stated they wouldn’t attend the Moscow meeting. However, Afghan government sent the members of its High Peace Council afterwards, while US attended the meeting as an observer and didn’t actively participate in the peace initiative.
Russia’s Afghanistan Peace Initiative -Moscow Format- is a Moscow backed and supported effort to bring peace to the war ridden Afghanistan and its adjoining areas by promoting a peace deal among the warring factions -Taliban and Afghan forces- in Afghanistan. Moreover, unlike US, Russia has not preceded this idea of peace alone, but it has positively taken all the regional players and Afghan neighboring nations on board. From 2016 up till the recently held meeting in Moscow, Russia has always sought contribution and participation from Pakistan and China explicitly to solve this intra-regional mayhem. This ingenuity by Russia to establish peace not only highlights the chances of peace but of regional harmony as well, thus reducing the role of extra regional powers in this region. In addition to this, Russia and China have taken the lead to solve the regional impending security threats and are exhausting their energies to help prosper this region. Their sincere efforts seem to have put an end to the hegemony of the hawkish international powers aspiring to subjugate the Asian region by fueling chaos and turmoil in Afghanistan in the form of terrorism and by installing their puppet regimes.
Kabul must be reminded the fact that international games can never be won alone. Therefore, it can be inferred that this entire scenario calls for a broker to persuade Taliban for holding talks with the Afghan government and that broker must not be US, for it has been adding insult to the Afghan injuries for seventeen years.
Moscow process has irked the US and US installed National Unity Government of Afghanistan. Here the question arises why this US-Afghan nexus, while aspiring for a peaceful Afghanistan, instead of welcoming this peace settlement, not only opposes but criticizes Russian initiative towards peace. Why Afghan president doesn’t criticize US’ formulated policies and programs for peace? Why US has been failed to establish peace in Afghanistan for 17 years? Why US wants the same countries to participate in US backed process but doesn’t participate in the processes for realization of afghan peace by the very states? These are the questions which critically doubt the common rhetoric of Afghan government and expose the actual goal of US government as well.
For instance, if Kabul actually emphasizes on the Afghan-led Afghan-owned peace process and criticizes Moscow for taking the lead then it shall stop looking towards US administration for the peace settlements as well. Moreover, Kabul must be reminded the fact that international games can never be won alone. There’s always the need of a mediator to ensure a win-win solution or else the fight for power supremacy goes on. On the same hand, Afghan government is well aware of the Taliban’s refusal to the option of holding talks with Afghan government for they call this government a puppet regime which doesn’t represent the actual Afghan population. Therefore, it can be inferred that this entire scenario calls for a broker to persuade Taliban for holding talks with the Afghan government and that broker must not be US, for it has been adding insult to the Afghan injuries for seventeen years.
In addition to Kabul’s censure, US has also voiced its anger rather anxiety regarding Russian initiative many a time, be it a trilateral talk for afghan peace or Moscow Format. The reason to US’ criticism of Russian initiated peace process is very simple and can be clearly understood by the minds knowing US foreign policy of maintaining its hegemony. US just wants to maintain its hegemony in Afghanistan for the containment of Iran, Russia, China and Pakistan. Moreover, seeing Russia and China as the regional leaders and gaining the status of peace makers is something indigestible for the warmongering Trump administration. Furthermore, a million dollar question is, if US really wants a peaceful Afghanistan why it is not supporting Russian initiated afghan peace process? The answer to this question lays in the fact that Russo-Sino phobic Washington wants to hold every key to unlock the doors towards Afghan peace in its own hands. This non-supportive posture of US and National Unity Government of Afghanistan questions their aspirations and slogans for peace in Afghanistan. It is quite evident that had they really wanted peace in Afghanistan, they would have harvested benefits from this opportunity.
The Moscow Format is a regional initiative for the Afghan peace. For the first time, it has brought Taliban directly on the negotiation table with other states. Therefore, it shall be applauded and welcomed by all the international players for after all it’s a giant leap towards peace.
On a positive note, Russia is promoting the peace settlement in Afghanistan for Russia knows that peace in Afghanistan is a prerequisite for the prosperity and security of this entire region. Also, Kremlin is concerned about the fallouts of afghan based war in the region creating a middle east like situation here. The ascending ingress and expansion of ISIS Khorasaan further worries Russia of a looming threat. Furthermore, Russia along with China wants this region to get free of any extra-regional involvement and foreign meddling. Last but not least, 17 year of US failure to institute peace in Afghanistan prompted Russia, to initiate this multilateral effort with the support of China and Pakistan. In addition to this, Moscow has actually got the support of the Afghan leaders who truly represent the Afghan populace.
Consequently, it has become quite clear that Washington and Kabul’s skepticism regarding Moscow Format doesn’t hold water but actually raises a question on their longing for Afghan peace. Instead of being appreciated for the laudable service rendered towards the cause of regional peace and prosperity, Moscow has been lambasted by the powers covertly trying to bedevil the peace process for their own benefit. The Moscow Format is a regional initiative for the Afghan peace. For the first time, it has brought Taliban directly on the negotiation table with other states. Therefore, it shall be applauded and welcomed by all the international players for after all it’s a giant leap towards peace.