Oslo Talks on Afghanistan to Fail As Usual

The Norwegian government has long been interested in mediating major disputes between hostile parties and countries. Its foreign policy is based on the fact that as a neutral country, it plays a role in resolving major conflicts, and therefore, the country has a long history of hosting and facilitating peace with individuals involved in conflicts. The Norwegian foreign policy has not had a tangible effect on the conflict in Afghanistan and can be criticized from various angles.

What draws more attention to the Oslo Initiative is that the participants and the host view the negotiation and peace as commercial talks, not finding a solution to the pain of the people being negotiated. It seems that the catastrophe of one country is an opportunity to market to another country with the aim of selling its goods, focusing on the goods themselves and selling them, not ending the catastrophe. The most famous case involving Oslo was the Palestinian-Israeli talks, which were to lead to the formation of two governments. Despite the global uproar over the issue, which at the time seemed to have the support of many countries, now, thirty years later, not a bit of pain has been alleviated and no gateway has been opened for the formation of two governments. While, Yasser Arafat with that history of struggle put all his prestige and credibility in the Oslo negotiations basket and Yitzhak Rabin gave his life for those negotiations in vain.

In the case of Afghanistan, the evidence shows that the Norwegian government views the Afghan negotiations as an opportunity to sell the goods for negotiations, and it does not matter what happens next, like the failed negotiations in Doha, it has no guaranteed mechanism to put an end to long sufferings of the Afghan people. If Norway or any other country is sincerely desiring to pursue peace talks, the way is to bring together the demands of the various groups and pave the way for an agreement and consensus. The demands of different groups are obvious. On one side is a one-ethnic, theocratic and totalitarian party who wants to rule through whip-and-gun, and on the other, groups that want a decentralized, pluralistic system based on civil rights and fundamental freedoms, despite differences over details.

These two demands represent two different systems of thoughts, and without finding a solution, there is no hope of an end to the catastraphe. The solution with a centralized power structure headed by a person with unlimited powers, according to the famous proverb: “It is a dream and it is an imagination and it is impossible and it is madness.” The solution is to design a model of power structure that opens the door to all ethnicities and parties and allows all citizens to play a role in determining their destiny and managing their lives.

It is natural that a group like the Taliban, by seizing power through war and insurgency, will not easily turn to the will of the people, will not allow other forces to participate in political sphere, and will have no choice but to use force and repression to advance their plans. As the nature of power has proved throughout history, power can only be controlled by power, and the Taliban are no exception. Negotiations with the Taliban will only come to fruition when backed by strength. Those who have negotiated in Oslo have no negotiation power on the ground, and as a result their speech, based on the logic of the balance of power, has no effect and a tangible result. Such an imbalanced negotiation will result in nothing but the publication of a statement.