The extent to which Afghan peace negotiations are able to integrate women`s rights, including fundamental human rights, will have an impact on peace opportunities in Afghanistan. Women face barriers at all levels of Afghan society and the number of women in official positions remains low. CPA recently issued a contingency planning memorandum, “A Failed Afghan Peace Deal,” by Seth G. Jones, Harold Brown Chair and Director of the Transnational Threat Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Mr. Jones talks about the significant hurdles that remain to be overcome for an internal peace agreement in Afghanistan and outlines the steps the United States can take to prevent the failure of a peace agreement in Afghanistan. Both the agreement between the United States and the Taliban and the joint declaration decide to create a lasting ceasefire in Afghanistan as a precondition for a political solution. After nearly two decades of war and several stalled peace talks, the United States, the Afghan government and others are eager to see new peace efforts in Afghanistan. However, peace is not guaranteed and many challenges remain, including the implementation of U.S. agreements with the Taliban and the Afghan government, the opening of viable internal talks and the resolution of systemic internal challenges in Afghanistan. The negotiations had long been supported by former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the British and Pakistani governments, but were rejected by the US government. Karzai proposed peace talks with the Taliban in September 2007, which was immediately rejected by the insurgent group, citing the presence of foreign troops.  Until 2009, Afghanistan largely agreed to end the war, but how to get there was an important issue for the 2009 Afghan presidential candidates who had re-elected Karzai.
In a televised address after his election, Karzai called on “our Taliban brothers to go home and embrace their country” and presented plans for the creation of a loya-jirga. Efforts have been undermined by the rise of U.S. troops in the country by the Obama administration.  At a london conference in January 2010, Karzai said he wanted to reach out to the Taliban to lay down arms.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cautiously supported the proposal.  At the United States Institute of Peace, Karzai declared in May 2010 that a “peace process” with the Taliban and other militants “not part of Al Qaeda or other terrorist networks or ideologically against us.” Referring to the Taliban, he said, “These are country boys who don`t hate the United States, maybe many of them would go to the United States if the opportunity was given to do so.”  The two rivals, India and Pakistan, are in conflict with the Afghan peace process. After an attack in May 2020 at a Kabul hospital, which the Afghan state accused the Taliban, while the United States accused the regional branch of IS, Pakistan accused India of derailing the trial. The agreement between the United States and the Taliban, signed in February 2020, was seen in India as a “victory for the Taliban and Pakistan.” The Afghan government rejected Pakistan`s claims, citing India as a partner.  India was an important military and development aid partner for Afghanistan.
 The President of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, visited the heads of state and government in Islamabad and New Delhi in October 2020 to convince them to support a peace agreement in Afghanistan.  A senior Pakistani official said that India wanted to “waste” peace in Afghanistan.  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his commitment to a peaceful Afghanistan.  India confirmed “active participation” in the intra-Afghanistan negotiations in Doha.  But the Taliban have their own leadership problems. The team negotiating the Doha peace agreement does not necessarily argue in favour of Taliban commanders on the ground, who may not be ready or able to give up the fight and lay down their arms.