U.S. signs peace agreement with Taliban


Well you're listening to weekend on the BBC world service let's change gears now too at an event that's been making headlines this weekend and that's what happened yesterday when the United States and the Taliban signed a historic agreement in Doha the capital Qatar which could bring closer an end to the fighting in America's longest ever war the deal follows a weeklong reduction in violence in Afghanistan with the Taliban the Afghan army and U. S. led forces promising not to carry out major attacks against each other president Donald Trump welcome the agreement but warned the US would go back on its decision to take troops out of Afghanistan the Taliban didn't uphold its side of the deal I really believe the Taliban wants to do something to show that we're not all wasting time if bad things happen will go back and let the people know we'll go back we'll go back so fast it will go back with a force like nobody's ever seen well joining us now from our studio in Oxford is Lucy Morgan Edwards she's an expert and author on Afghanistan one of her books is called the Afghan solution she's also worked as a political adviser on the country to the European Union Lucy what do you make of the agreement signed yesterday good morning as I'm I mean essentially the agreement seems like it's a it's a bit of political fix and it's that where it's a little bit early to be trumpeting this as a major success story it looks like a win win for the Taliban because they get to have five thousand prisoners released R. and they've agreed to scale down violence I mean at the moment it's the winter season this is less violence anyway the Americans have agreed that they're going to remove about for eyes well they're going to go down from from twelve thousand to eight thousand troops but this is going to be over time and since they're not actually withdrawing all of that troops I mean certainly not before the US election so it's starting to look a little bit like it's a bit of a bit of a the background sort of deal going on between trump and the Taliban but can you argue that that most agreements are political fix there's going to be a win win on both sides for it for anyone to be interested in signing something of course but I mean I'm fortunate with this deal they haven't included a wrong which is a major use regional player it's absolutely essential that Iran has to be included the Afghan government have pretty much been precluded from the agreement as well awestruck Ghani the that the president that the president off honest on has unfortunately I mean I understand he's not getting on well with on my father's side who is is leading the talks for the US but gonna himself has actually broken the high peacock high peace council which was the structure that that that had relative credibility to to partner in the talks and so is is as essentially left himself without without a structured to represent his own side in this so you know unfortunately we're leaving a country if if if if the west does move out and I certainly don't believe that the the Americans have any intention of leaving Afghanistan then with with such leaving behind in all K. state and everything that that that the doctor the doctor that implies and I understand that provincial council street those seats in in Kabul trade for something like five hundred thousand to five million US dollars because there is so many benefits attached to them so there was very very embedded corruption the the reconstruction efforts as if if one goes to the special inspector general the cigar and look out to the the the failure zone on the re construction side and on the corruption when you look at some of the reports its ups absolutely horrifying what's what's been going on and of course the massive increases in poppy and violent civilian casualties I mean the Taliban last year the Taliban there any hundred ninety five metric tons of poppy produced as it said the that's blossomed to to mmhm something like twenty five times note that for many many months many many multiples of these it's it's two thousand eight hundred times now okay Sir what yes I'm we leaving behind in all K. state if if we do indeed go Julie Norman yeah and this year is it fair to say that what we saw yesterday was really just I'm kind of a stepping stone to unlock the real part of the peace process in terms of being trapped any talks that will hopefully start later this spring and is is that a fair way to look at the absolutely yes it's very much a sort of announcement before any of the meat has been had decided I mean it's it's a sort of structure a framework which needs to be filled in you want to write to me and what do you think it will take to effect change in Afghanistan political changes stable change I mean in my opinion the problem is is that the Pentagon and the CIA are up to the next in the drug trade as our other intelligence agencies this is like our America all over again that we had in in the far east in the sixties and seventies of the Vietnam War so if you talk about women's rights and democracy if you could get the framework right which is the international engagement is completely I mean Afghanistan is it's really the sort of cash cow for CIA black operations around the world with with that with the puppy trade and this is all this is all being the sort of hidden side of this intervention on which the media not reporting properly and but not those of us who what's the or wearables and we were you know when I was working for the European Union ambassador in the the E. U. plus cliff as we were we were getting information about drug tools that will going through different borders and so on and and we were trying to convey them to to to the US to to the government and so on we were basically being asked to to stop talking about this I'm white and Lucy why do you why do you think that is simply because because you say it's so lucrative that's why this is really been one not discussed very widely it's one of the most lucrative trades in in the entire world and of course it's very easy it's very easy to hide poppies easily tradable it sits on the black market it's it's I mean that's why they brought back the warlords in two thousand one there were many other alternatives I mean one of that which I would write about in my book about up to hawk who had made deals with with senior Taliban and with with the tribal leaders and even warlords to to fold the Taliban regime through an indigenous peace process an indigenous Pasha and of course that wasn't wanted it it's much more it's it's this is hard to geopolitics this is you know because I was born in his family of a close relations with the CIA he's you know who's his education in India and is of course important regional player in this but term you know that the very sad story about Afghanistan is really the complicity in corruption

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