The Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko warned Thursday that Afghanistan cannot continue without International Community’s aid and cooperation and that peace will not be sustainable without international Community’s help even if it would be reached.


The Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko warned Thursday that Afghanistan cannot continue without International Community’s aid and cooperation and that peace will not be sustainable without international Community’s help even if it would be reached.
“If a peace agreement is reached and U.S. and coalition forces leave,” Sopko told a Washington audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “policymakers should not forget that the Soviet-installed Afghan government did not collapse upon the [1988] withdrawal of Soviet troops, but only later, after financial support ended.”
Without sufficient funds from U.S. allies and international financial institutions, “the government of Afghanistan cannot survive,” said Sopko, adding that “should peace come, if that peace is to be sustainable, it will come at an additional price that only external donors can afford.”

SIGAR pointed to eight risks that “might persist or arise in the wake of any peace agreement: widespread insecurity, underdeveloped civil policing capability, endemic corruption, sluggish economic growth, illicit narcotics trade, threats to women’s rights, reintegration of ex-combatants, and restricted oversight.”

For example, “There are over 300,000 Afghans currently serving in the security forces, most of whom are armed,” he told the audience. “If, because of a loss of financial support, their paychecks were to stop coming, this could pose a serious threat to Afghanistan’s stability. Similarly, a failure to peacefully reintegrate as many as 60,000 heavily armed Taliban long-term would threaten any peace agreement as disaffected former Taliban who may have been expecting a peace dividend may return to violent and predatory behavior.”

The warning come as US –Taliban talks have recently gotten pace. US Special Representative on Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad has had five rounds of meeting with Taliban in Doha, Qatar so far.
According to Mr Khalilzad, the two sides have agreed in draft on foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan and counter terrorism, but the Afghan people should discuss on the intra-Afghan dialogue and the establishment of inclusive cease fire.
US – Taliban delegations are expected to meet in mid-April in Qatar.


News Id: E13800