A view on Bonn accord on Afghanistan

Akahata on December 7 commented on an agreement reached in Bonn among the
four political forces on establishing an interim administrative government
which is equal to an interim government and a possible government in future.

The Bonn conference was brokered by the United Nations. based on the
November 14 UN Security Council resolution which called for a new government
to be established on a broad base and that is multi-ethnic to represent all
people in Afghanistan, and which pledges peace with countries adjacent to
Afghanistan. Although the Northern Alliance, which had been the first to
advance into the capital Kabul, from beginning to end tried to take the
initiative in the talks and caused continued disputes between the factions,
an accord was finally reached with which the four factions agreed.

Peace is what the people of Afghanistan desire as there has been war for
over 20 years since the Soviet aggression. The agreement achieved not by
force but by negotiations can be a first step in the development toward
achieving this aspiration.

There are many questions to be settled before this goal is achieved and a
government by the Afghan people is desired in accordance with what the UNSC
described with emphasis.

The following points are given as factors of uncertainty: the Northern
Alliance has taken over key posts of the interim administration in spite of
the avowed cooperation among the four forces; there is continuing
confrontation among these forces, and discord within the Northern Alliance.
An important task remains as regards whether or not the interim government
can reflect the will of the Pashtun people who form an ethnic majority.

It should be noted that the Bonn Conference took place while violent
military operations by the U.S. forces were taking place in Afghanistan. The
UNSC resolution, advocating the importance of the right of the Afghan people
to self-determination, stressed the need for the interim government to abide
by the basic principle of it being broad-based and deeply committed to
sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and national unity. It is
necessary for international opinion to watch and examine whether or not the
interim government conforms to these norms.

U.S. war action and terrorism

The important underlying theme behind the present developments related to
Afghanistan is the contemporary international task of ending terrorism.
Under the pretext of having to deal with terrorism, the United States
started military operations. The U.S. Bush administration is now trying to
evaluate the Bonn conference as a result of the justified U.S. war and to
describe it as getting closer to settling the terrorist question. It is
clear from recent developments between Israel and Palestine that the demise
of the Taliban does not bring about a world without terrorism.

If the Taliban completely falls, how will the citizens of Afghanistan
feel about the United States which expelled the Taliban with an overwhelming
military force and killing and inuring many innocent citizens?

The U.S. war action does not lead to eliminating terrorism. On the
contrary, it will further cultivate the climate fostering terrorism. It can
even undermine the outcome of the Bonn conference and serve as a cue to a
new civil war to emerge.

To settle the terrorist question, it is necessary for the United States
to stop its military operations and for the United Nations to fulfill its
expected role, including providing the Afghan people suffering from the
severe winter with increased emergency humanitarian aid, and to work to
strengthen international solidarity and cooperation to this effect. These
are the indispensable conditions for the agreement in the Bonn conference to
develop and achieve the goal. (end)