The Afghan peace process was an ongoing initiative that began with the 1978 Afghanistan conflict. The efforts to maintain peace in the country have been made since the war began. In 2001, after the US invaded Afghanistan, the Bonn Agreement stating the "victor's peace" was passed. The peace movement accelerated in 2018 amidst talks between the insurgent group Taliban and the US.
The Taliban was the primary insurgent group competing against the then-Afghan government, and the US maintained a presence in the country to assist the Afghan government. After 2021, when the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan fell, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) recommended that the peace process must be continued.
Afghanistan Peace Deal - Overview
Two peace agreements were signed as part of the Afghanistan peace process. The Afghan government and the insurgent group Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin signed the first treaty on 22nd September 2016. On 29th February 2020, the United States and the Taliban signed their second peace pact demanding that American soldiers leave Afghanistan within 14 months if the Taliban adhered to the terms of the deal.
Afghan Peace Process Timeline
The Afghan peace process refers to the sociopolitical agreements and negotiations to end the armed conflict in Afghanistan. When the Afghanistan conflict accelerated, many world organizations emphasized the need to follow a peace process for the welfare of the people of Afghanistan. The conflict ended with the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2021. Find more details about the timeline of the Afghan peace process below:
Conflicts in Afghanistan began majorly during the Saur Revolution.
Mid-1980s to 1992
During the Najibullah and Karmal governments, the National Reconciliation Policy (NRP) was initiated.
The US invaded Afghanistan, and the Bonn Agreement was signed.
Tensions between the Afghan government and the insurgent group Taliban increased.
US Taliban deal was passed on to restore peace in the country.
Taliban captured power over the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
US Taliban Deal
The US Taliban deal was signed on 29th February 2020 to restore peace in the country. However, following this deal, insurgent attacks on Afghan security forces increased dramatically. Here are the details of what all happened after the US Taliban deal;
- Peace talks between the US and the Taliban began in September 2020 in Doha, Qatar, but civilian casualties increased thereafter.
- The agreement between the US and the Taliban was negotiated by Zalmay Khalilzad and did not involve the then-Afghan government.
- As per the Taliban and US peace agreement, the US agreed to reduce its force from 13,000 to 8,600 within 135 days (i.e., by July 2020) in Afghanistan.
- The deal also mentioned that if the Taliban keeps its commitments, the US will withdraw its force completely within 14 months (i.e., by 1st May 2021).
- The United States also committed to ending economic sanctions on the Taliban by 27th August, 2020.
- Even after the US Taliban deal, insurgent attacks were carried out in which approximately 800 Afghan civilians were murdered, and over 1,600 others were injured.
Afghanistan Peace Process - Conclusion
During the Afghan peace process, the President of the United States proposed a New Peace Initiative (Plan) to determine the path to peace in Afghanistan. The plan called for a regional summit with foreign ministers from the United States, India, Russia, China, Pakistan, and Iran to debate a "united approach" to Afghanistan under the auspices of the United Nations. Here is what all happened as a conclusion of the Afghan peace plan:
- Following the US Taliban deal, the US started withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan.
- In 2021, the Taliban took control of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
- Following the Taliban's takeover of Kabul in August 2021, the Afghan government initiated discussions with the Taliban.
- This concluded with the government's unconditional capitulation. The Taliban have asked for a peaceful transition of power, and the government has stated that it will comply.
- On the other hand, the administration asked for the power to be passed to an interim government, whilst the Taliban wanted a complete power transfer.
India's Role in the Afghanistan Peace Deal
India was a key stakeholder in the Afghan peace process and supported all-inclusive, Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled efforts for peaceful coexistence in Afghanistan. India made significant investments in infrastructure development, security force training, and equipment delivery in Afghanistan. Find more information about India's role in the Afghan peace plan below:
- The Afghan Senate, the Zaranj-Delaram Highway, and the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam are all major projects (Salma Dam).
- In addition, India's help in the form of almost USD 3 billion in programs and hundreds of modest development projects (such as schools, hospitals, and water projects) has solidified India's position in Afghanistan.
- Afghanistan is also a route to the Central Asian nations that are wealthy in oil and minerals. Regardless of who controls Afghanistan, the land routes between India and Central Asia are under their authority (via Afghanistan).
- As per the ideals of the Afghan peace process, India backs the notion that Afghanistan must be independent, sovereign, democratic, pluralistic, and inclusive for regional peace and security.
FAQs on Afghan Peace Process
Q.1. What is the Afghan Peace Process?
The Afghan Peace Process includes initiatives and conversations to end the Afghanistan conflict, which began in 1978 and ended in 2021 when the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan fell under the control of the Taliban.
Q2. What was the US Taliban deal?
The US Taliban deal focused on restoring peace in the country. The agreement was signed on 29th February 2020. According to the agreement, the US was to withdraw its force completely from Afghanistan, and the Taliban was to cease fire for a period of 90 days.
Q.3. As per the Afghan peace process, when did the United States commit to leaving Afghanistan?
As per the Afghanistan peace deal, the United States partially committed to withdrawing its force from 13,000 to 8,600 troops within 135 days (i.e., by July 2020) and completely leaving the country by 1st May 2021.
Q.4. What is the Afghan peace process timeline?
The timeline of the Afghan peace process begins after the 1978 Saur revolution. The rest of the timeline is as follows:
- The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, and the Bonn Agreement was signed.
- Tensions increased between insurgent groups and the Afghan government in 2018.
- The US Taliban deal was signed in 2020, and the US began withdrawing its troops.
- In 2021, the Taliban took full control of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by force.