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Blog Posted in avatar   Muhammad Arif Shafi's Blog

Killing of Rabbani and Peace Process after him

By Muhammad Arif Shafi
Posted Sep 26, 2011 in Politics
It was the first day of three days' national morning in Kabul, the Capital of Afghanistan on Thursday in connection with sad killing of Professor Rabbani.
Former President (1992-1996), Veteran Jihadi Leader, Head of Jamiat-e-Islami and Head of High Peace Council (HPC) Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani was killed on Tuesday evening (20 September).
According to media reports, two persons were brought by Masoom Stanikzai, a close associate of Rabbani and member of HPC, for negotiations with Rabbani.
One of those persons had explosive material in his Turban which was not checked by security forces. Soon after their meeting started, that person exploded himself. One associate of assassin was arrested. Stanikzai remained injured and now in stable condition.
Supporters of Rabbani had protested at several places and some of his associates had claimed for revenge, an old tradition of Afghan society.
Rabbani had a long history of political struggle. After fall of Nejeeb regime, he was elected as President of troubled Afghanistan and held the position till 1996.
When Hamid Karazai was nominated as President in first Bonn conference in December 2001, he opposed Karzai and created a grand opposition of former Jihadi parties and other political groups.
He was elected as member of Lower House (Wolesi Jirga) in first parliamentary elections while not contested those elections in second term.
He was nominated as HPC, a platform made for peace talks the anti government militants, by Karzai last year.
As a head of HPC and respected leader of the country, Rabbani had worked so much for bringing militants to negotiation table. He travelled to various parts of the country including Pakistan and Iran for support.
There was no apparent opposition to peace talks with Taliban when he was there and most of the people of Afghanistan were hopeful of that process. But after Rabbani that hope might not remain at that level, beside the fact that peace is an ultimate desire of all Afghans.
Peace talks with the Taliban were said to be at a positive stage and HPC was in touch with several militant groups and Rabbani's death has certainly reversed the peace process.
Although everyone is blaming Taliban for the killing but Taliban had not said anything regarding the incident. They have a regular practice that they immediately contact journalists or issue statement after every incident.
According to some political experts, Taliban's silence means to avoid any great reaction or crisis in the country.
Peace process at that level and speed was not in larger interests of certain elements which wanted war in the country.
First of all, peace talks was feared to brought division to Taliban as certain militant groups were in contact with HPC. It might be not acceptable to them to be divided at any cost.
On the other hand, Rabbani had said several times that if peace prevailed and they succeeded in peace talks with militants, they would not need the foreign forces in the country. Demand of withdrawal of foreign forces with peace and unity might be very effective.
No matter who is responsible for the killing, the later might be the best way to tackle the growing problems of the 32 years war shattered country.
The damage caused is very big but hope is there as Afghans are still looking forward for peace, even with more dedication and spirit.
September 22, 2011 (KABUL)

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