The release of remaining 400 Taliban prisoners by Afghan Government has successfully consummated the peace agreement stipulated between Talibans and US on 29th February, 2020, in Doha. As per the agreement, Afghan Govt had already released 4600 prisoners, but the rest of 400 inmates, who are allegedly accused of being involved in deadliest attacks and serious crimes, were becoming an impediment to procrastinate the resumption of intra Afghan peace talks.

Besides this swap of 5000 prisoners by Afghan Government and 1000 by Talibans, the agreement is also pertaining to other conditions, including reduction of US troops from 15000 to just 8300 within 14 months, US withdrawal from its 5 military bases, complete ceasefire and suspension of militant attacks by the insurgents and Taliban will not permit Afghan soil to be used for terrorism by others. This historic agreement will certainly pave the way for the initiation of intra-Afghan negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan Government for the peaceful future of war stricken Afghanistan.

However, despite this deal, apprehensions are looming large, in case a vacuum is created, by evacuation of US troops from Afghanistan. If we look into past track records, we will get to know that, whenever a power vacuum was created by one party, it led to civil war to be filled by another party. For instance, the Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989, leading to civil war among militant groups involving Talibans, Mujahydeens, Al Qaeda and the Northern Alliance where one faction strived to surmount another one and grappled to seek power and establish its own government against all.

Nevertheless, compliance of the agreement can be ensured by being supervised by an independent group of people belonging to neutral states with proper mechanisms formulated by world organisations especially that of UNO.

WASEEM SHABBIR,

Gujranwala.