From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not Much
Mains level : Afghan peace process
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and political rival Abdullah Abdullah have signed a power-sharing agreement two months after both declared themselves the winner of last presidential election.
Practice question for mains:
Q. India’s reluctance to enter into talks with the Taliban in Afghan peace process needs a rethink. Comment.
- The deal calls for Abdullah to lead the country’s National Reconciliation High Council and some members of Abdullah’s team would be included in Ghani’s Cabinet.
- Ghani would remain President of the war-torn nation.
- The Reconciliation Council has been given the authority to handle and approve all affairs related to Afghanistan’s peace process.
Why such a deal?
- Afghanistan has been in political disarray since the country’s Election Commission in December announced Mr. Ghani had won the September 28 election with more than 50% of the vote.
- Abdullah had received more than 39% of the vote, according to the EC, but he and the Elections Complaint Commission charged widespread voting irregularities.
- Ghani and Mr. Abdullah both declared themselves president in parallel inauguration ceremonies in March.
- The discord then prompted the Trump administration to announce it would cut $1 billion in assistance to Afghanistan if the two weren’t able to work out their differences.
Role of the US
- A peace agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban signed February 29 calls for U.S. and NATO troops to leave Afghanistan.
- It was seen at the time as Afghanistan’s best chance at peace in decades of war.
- Since then, the U.S. has been trying to get the Taliban and the Afghan government to begin intra-Afghan negotiations, but the political turmoil and personal acrimony between the two impeded talks.