Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Burhanuddin Rabbani's death and Afghan peace initiative

Finally one more person died in the old great game. This time it was the turn of former Afghanistan president and Current Chairman of High Peace Council, Burhanuddin Rabbani. Suicide bombers found their way to his home in the high security diplomatic area. The bad side is, he was the chief of current High Peace Council which is supposed to be in charge of finding a peaceful solution for Afghan problem inclusive of Taliban. It is entirely another matter that, Taliban who ruled Kabul for more than 5 years will be satisfied by any solution shorter than the one which will guarantee them power.

The death exposed the deadly situation in Afghanistan, there is no guarantee for any one's life. And the underflow is so strong that various groups are undercutting each other and bringing down the situation in the country. It is yet to see how the death of one more prominent leader will affect Karzai's initiative of reaching out the Taliban and the exit of US military forces. Certainly this is a blow to the peace initiative. 

According to Guardian report "Unconfirmed reports indicated that the two men were holding a meeting with a pair of insurgents to discuss peace plans. That raises the possibility that one of the insurgents could have been the bomber." 

This rise the another problem for both Americans and Afghan administration - Now the question is whom to trust? How one can trust the person coming to meet you? Recent Suicide blasts on CIA's forward post Khost was also carried out by a person who enjoyed the complete trust of CIA.

Even though Rabbani's - A Tajik and a former warlord from Northern Afghanistan - appointment as the chairman may not went down well with the Taliban ranks, he may be a good choice. As a northerner, if he was able to make deal with Taliban, he may be able to persuade other northern leaders to accept the same. Now what will happen to the so called peace initiative? Will a Northerner headed peace council be acceptable to Taliban? Will the old northern alliance will accept a formula in which they don't have much stakes?

As an immediate impact, Rabbani's death and recent attacks by Taliban may force USA to rethink her exit strategy. As decided earlier, US may start the process of withdrawal her forces as promised by Obama, but the numbers may not be significant. The interesting question which I am not yet able to answer fully is why Taliban is trying to attack now? Did they changed their plan of waiting for US to exit and then move in? After all it is the more safe for them.


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