Taliban dating service
In September, the Trump Administration signalled seriousness by appointing the dynamic and respected Zalmay Khalilzad to lead them.
The Taliban in turn elevated their own negotiating team, with press reports indicating that senior figures based in Pakistan (senior member Amir Khan Mottaki) and Qatar (former Guantanamo detainees Muhammad Fazl and Khairullah Khairkhwa) joined recent meetings.
The great unknown remains what the Taliban think about these questions and, indeed, whether the insurgency is actually open to making peace.
The group has sent mixed signals over the last year.
A remarkably consistent Taliban vision emerges from those conversations, suggesting the group may be releasing a trial balloon of sorts.
Though Kabul or Washington would be unlikely to embrace the Taliban’s exact proposal as detailed below, it is nevertheless much more pragmatic than Taliban demands of the past, and closer to what skilled negotiators could eventually sculpt into a viable political settlement.
In June, the warring parties observed a nationwide ceasefire, for the first time in 40 years, over three jubilant days.
In July, media reports emerged that the Taliban and US had restarted direct talks in Qatar.
A final settlement could take many years to achieve, but investing in the process is justified by events to date.Taliban interlocutors explain the shift in their thinking by pointing out that Afghanistan could become another Syria if foreign troops leave too quickly.What does not appear to be negotiable, however, is the Taliban’s insistence that understanding on US withdrawal come in the process.The very next month, however, President Ghani used the second Kabul Process conference to make probably the most forward-leaning public peace offer in his government’s history, including the tabling of a constitutional review process and the full acceptance of the Taliban as a political party.This offer set off a chain of events that collectively gave the Afghan peace process—nascent though it remains—considerable momentum.