US officials converge on Pakistan seeking Afghan peace

After a successful mission to Turkey this weekend on US President Trump’s behalf, his leading Republican ally Senator Lindsey Graham is reportedly heading for Islamabad on a similar mission seeking rapprochement with another truculent erstwhile ally of the US. Senator Graham, interestingly, used to be a hardliner on Afghanistan who once believed that a US …

India baits US while Pakistan tells Trump, ‘There’s nothing like free lunch’

(External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets US Special Representative on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, New Delhi, January 10, 2019) Breaking a prolonged period of several months, the Pakistani allegation of Indian involvement in terrorist attacks has surged. This appears during the first detailed media briefing by the Pakistani authorities in Karachi on January 13 on the …

Pakistan’s Afghan jig irks regional states

(Russian FM Sergey Lavrov receiving Pakistani FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Moscow, Dec 26 2018) With what mixed feelings Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wound up on Wednesday his hurried 3-day regional tour of Kabul, Tehran, Beijing and Moscow, we will never know. What sticks out is that Islamabad’s newfound role as “facilitator” of the …

CPEC to traverse the Durand Line

  (Khyber Pass) The 2nd Afghanistan-China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, which took place in Kabul on Saturday, largely covered familiar ground – reaffirming the commitment of the three countries to strengthen their relations, resolutely fight terrorism, support Afghan reconciliation, extend support to Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process, exhort Taliban to come to peace talks, foster security …

India and the Afghan transitions

(Moscow conference on Afghanistan, Nov 9, 2018) Political transition has been a recurring feature of Afghanistan’s modern history. Once in every 10-20 years, transitions appeared – the coup d’etat against King Zahir Shah in 1973, the violent takeover by the communists in 1978 (“Saur Revolution”), the collapse of the communist government and its replacement by …

India has historic role in Moscow format on Afghanistan

(Taliban heads for peace talks) Many a slip between the cup and the lip may be possible when it comes to the Afghan peacemaking, but with the caveat added, prospects for the second Moscow conference on Afghanistan slated for coming Friday have significantly improved with the expected participation by officials of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council …