Taliban gets Khalilzad leg before wicket but won’t appeal

Prisoners in overcrowded Afghan jails. (File photo) The US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad apparently overreached by effusively welcoming the 21-member list announced in Kabul on Thursday by President Ashraf Ghani to engage with the Taliban in the format of the forthcoming intra-Afghan dialogue.  Khalilzad tweeted on Thursday: “I want to congratulate Afghan …

Regional states won’t oppose US-Taliban deal

Youth release balloons and pigeons to celebrate the reduction in violence, Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Feb. 28, 2020 The reactions of the major regional states surrounding Afghanistan over the US-Taliban peace agreement in Doha Saturday reveal fault lines that are useful pointers in the Afghan peace process.  A sardonic remark by the Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar …

Afghan peace comes with caveats but can’t be snuffed out

US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (L) and co-founder of Taliban movement Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) signed the Afghan peace agreement., Doha, February 29, 2020  The chasm between illusion and reality in politics remains perennial. Wars seldom ended according to the script of peace agreements. The fall of Saigon in April 1975 …

US, Pakistan move in tandem to end Afghan war

President Donald Trump (R) speaks during a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Washington, July 22, 2019 The US State Department chose Friday to announce the decision to approve a $125 million aid package providing technical support to Pakistan’s fleet of F-16 fighter aircraft. Ironically, the news reached Delhi on the 20th anniversary of …

Trump’s volte-face on Pakistan is a moment of truth for India

A Taliban delegation led by Abdul Ghani Baradar (centre) visited China recently, according to Beijing. The announcement in Washington on Wednesday regarding Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’ visit to the United States cannot but be noted as a watershed event in regional politics.  At its most obvious level, the announcement coincides with the news coming out …

Delhi must show realism on Taliban reconciliation and peace talks

(A procession escorting the body of Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman arrives to a funeral home in the Bronx borough of New York, April 22, 2019.) The trilateral meeting of the United States, Russia and China at the level of special representatives in Moscow on April 25 signifies that the Afghan peace talks will be shifting …