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International News

Feb 29, 2020

US and Taliban set to sign peace deal in Doha today

United States is poised to sign a peace deal accord today with the Talibans to get a breather from what is being termed as the ‘longest war’ which America has fought. India has been invited to witness the historic event as “Observer”.

The Peace deal will be signed in Doha, capital of Qatar. India’s envoy in Qatar, P Kumaran will attend the historic event. India has been an important stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

The landmark peace deal will see phased withdrawal of thousands of US soldiers from Afghanistan.

As part of the deal, the Talibans are required to initiate a dialogue with the Afghan government and other civil society and political groups for a permanent ceasefire and power sharing in post war Afghanistan.

It was more than 18 years ago that US president Bush had ordered an attack on the Talibans following the tragic 9/11 happening in America which changed the way it looked at terrorism. US had lost more than 3000 citizen in this deadly terrorist attack on its twin tower.

The U.S. has reportedly spent more than 750 billion dollars, and on all sides the war cost tens of thousands of lives lost . According to a report more than 2300 US soldiers have lost their lives since 2001 in this ’endless war’. Today , America’s top diplomat will stand together to sign this historic accord with leaders of Taliban , the former rulers of Afghanistan who were accused of harbouring Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaida network.

Although India has been against negotiating with any terrorist group but it has been an important stakeholder in Aghanistan’s peace and reconciliation process. It was during the recent Trump’s visit, that India was taken on board. US President in the press conference in New Delhi said that he had spoken to PM Modi about it and India would like to see it happen. India sent the Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringlaa as a special envoy to Afghanistan yesterday with PM Modi’s special message.

"Foreign Secretary conveyed India's support to government and people of Afghanistan in their efforts to bring peace and stability through an inclusive & Afghan-led, Afghan-owned & Afghan-controlled efforts," Foreign Minister Raveesh Kumar said in a series of tweets. Ahead of the signing of the deal, the US and the Taliban had agreed to a seven-day  cooling-off period which passed peacefully. The truce came last Friday night.

In November 2018, India had sent two former diplomats in "non-official" capacity to a Russia-organised conference on Afghan peace process in Moscow. A high-level Taliban delegation, representatives of Afghanistan as well as from several other countries, including the US, Pakistan and China, had attended the conference. Though Observers are a little skeptic of this deal , peace should always be given a chance.

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