From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NA
Mains level : Taliban Ceasefire and its significance
The Taliban’s ruling council agreed to a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan, providing a window in which a peace agreement with the US can be signed. Since October 2018, Taliban representatives and US officials have been meeting to chalk out a peace treaty.
Significance of the ceasefire
- A key pillar of the agreement, which the U.S. and Taliban have been hammering out for more than a year, is direct negotiations between Afghans on both sides of the conflict.
- A peace deal would allow the U.S. to bring home its troops from Afghanistan and end its 18-year military engagement there, America’s longest.
- The U.S. wants any deal to include a promise from the Taliban that Afghanistan would not be used as a base by terrorist groups.
- The U.S. currently has an estimated 12,000 troops in Afghanistan.
- The first item on the agenda is expected to address how to implement a cease-fire between the Taliban and Afghanistan’s National Security Forces.
- The negotiations, however, were expected to be prickly and will cover a variety of issues including rights of women, free speech, and changes to the country’s constitution.
- The intra-Afghan talks would also lay out the fate of thousands of Taliban fighters and the heavily armed militias belonging to Afghanistan’s warlords.
- Afghanistan has been ravaged by war since 2001 when a US-led coalition overthrew the Taliban.
- Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida who carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States was harbored by Taliban.
- The Taliban initially has emerged as a militia – largely consisted of students called as Talibs in 1994.
- This group comprises of militants who had been educated in traditional Islamic schools and fought during the Soviet–Afghan War (ended in 1989).