The announcement of the United States (US) President Donald Trump cancelling his secret meeting with the key Taliban leaders and then with President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani surprised people all over the world. But the real political earthquake was his decision to call off the peace negotiations reasoning that the violence of the Taliban was unacceptable.

If the US sticks to its decision, then it will have far-reaching consequences in the days to come. Given that President Trump has called off the peace deal, the political scene of Afghanistan and the region can change drastically. Moreover, the political scene at home will also alter for Trump in the upcoming elections.

Now that the US is no more holding any talks with the Taliban, the Taliban will become more ruthless in displaying violence against the Afghan state and foreign troops. There is nothing to be surprised about if the Taliban rely on more violent tactics. They know the efficacy of violence in the guerrilla war they are fighting against the Afghan government and the foreign troops. The US and its allies in Kabul will respond to the fresh offensive with equal force. The new battles will deteriorate the already precarious law and order situation further. Afghan people will suffer even more in the hands of the fighting forces of the Afghan government, foreign troops and the Taliban.

Nonetheless, it is also true that Trump alone is not responsible for the failure of the peace deal. The Taliban leaders should have asked their fighting forces to calm when the deal was nearing completion. Taliban’s excessive dependence on violence has done two harms. First, the US has walked away from the talks, and second, the US will not leave Afghanistan anytime soon.

Anyways, this is not the first time that President Trump has called off talks of such importance. Earlier, he had called off a deal with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. But later on, he met him again to renegotiate North Korea’s nuclear program. Also, on the sidewalks of the G7 meeting in France, the meeting of France’s President Macron and Iran’s top diplomat, Javad Zarif, to renegotiate a nuclear deal with the US suggests that there is still some hope left for solving the Afghan conundrum.

It is high time for the Afghan Taliban to rethink their strategy. Violence has been the only bargaining chip they had all these years. However, excessive reliance on violence as suggested many a time before can only be counterproductive. Trump walking away from peace negotiations is something that the leadership of the Taliban should learn a lesson from.