Ground Report | New Delhi: They say Zalmay Khalizad; If it were possible for a single individual to bring peace to Afghanistan, US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad offered himself for the job, but in the end the experienced diplomat had to witness the devastation of the country he suffered so much.
They say Zalmay Khalizad responsible for return of Taliban
Zalmay Khalilzad, a 70-year-old Afghan-American diplomat, spent several years as Washington’s top envoy in talks with the Taliban, according to AFP. The talks paved the way for an agreement that gave the United States an opportunity to end its long war and withdraw from Afghanistan. This milestone was achieved after a year of intense diplomacy based on running away.
During his diplomacy, Zalmay Khalilzad visited foreign capitals. Attended summits in luxury hotels and addressed prominent think tanks. He assured his audience that the Taliban were ready for a compromise.
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Zalmay Khalilzad, once a powerful voice on social media platforms, fell silent on the Taliban’s return to power after the fall of the US-backed Afghan government in the wake of a full-scale invasion. The State Department says the US envoy was in Qatar last week. He worked on the phone in the hope of encouraging a diplomatic settlement of the Afghan issue, but the agreement, which he hoped would end the war, was in fact devastating.
Hussein Haqqani, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, says Khalilzad told a successive US president that he had reached a peace deal with the US military, but that it was tantamount to surrendering. “He (Zalmay Khalilzad) showed weakness in negotiations and encouraged the Taliban,” Haqqani told AFP. He said the talks would result in a power-sharing deal, even though the Taliban had no intention of sharing power.
His hand in return of the Taliban
Zalmay Khalilzad took over as US special envoy for the Afghan reconciliation process in 2018. He was appointed by the Trump administration as a special envoy to oversee talks with the Taliban. After the new responsibility, his career took several turns. Khalilzad had established several weak governments in Afghanistan after a series of US invasions. He is best known for bringing opposition groups to the table.
The US decision to continue the talks resulted in years of violence in Kabul. Khalilzad released Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar from Pakistani custody so that talks between the two sides could begin. An agreement was reached between the two sides, ending almost two decades of war and paving the way for a US withdrawal from Afghanistan. During months of talks in Qatar, Khalilzad was said to have established close ties with the Taliban delegation. ( They say Zalmay Khalizad )
Photographs posted online show mixed US representatives laughing and smiling alongside militant negotiators. Anger was expressed over the situation in Afghanistan, where the war was raging. But when the US withdrawal agreement was finally signed at a glittering ceremony in Doha in February 2020, Khalilzad received the vaguest assurances from the Taliban about future peace. Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network wrote in her new report that “Khalilzad succeeded in making only a firm promise that he (the Taliban) would not attack the United States and its allies.”