Last week, Said Tayeb Jawad, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the UK, received a warm welcome from students at the War Studies Department, King's College London. He highlighted some of the key issues that exist within the country’s peace process.
While the government wants to see a complete ceasefire, the Ambassador explained how the peace process in Afghanistan has been complicated by proxy war, regional rivalries, the absence of a unified approach from external actors, and a reduction of resources.
Adding: "We are optimistic that the Peace Process in Afghanistan will be of mutual stakes, as the Taliban are not an ideological movement and therefore as long as the peace talks gain real traction, they may lose ability to recruit and mobilize fighters."
Talking more broadly, he said: "Historically peace talks are long processes that require strategic patience, possibly lasting longer than war itself…"
Following the main talk, the audience engaged in a Q&A session, raising a wide range of questions and sparking a noteworthy discussion about negotiation and the vital importance of planning an agenda within peace talks.
While talking about the challenges of the Afghan peace process, the audience discussed how the Taliban is dogmatic but not as ideological as the West thinks it is, pragmatic rather than fundamentalist. It was also pointed out that to demobilize, Taliban fighters need a livelihood, the ability to live a dignified life.
Said Tayeb Jawad is the current ambassador of Afghanistan to the United Kingdom. He previously served as Chief of Staff to the President of Afghanistan, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Columbia and Argentina as well as Senior Political and Foreign Policy Adviser to the Chief Executive of Afghanistan.