Tom Hussain, The National: Despite preliminary talks, peace in Afghanistan is as elusive as ever
As another fighting season draws to a close in Afghanistan, reports of talks in Doha between representatives of the government and the Taliban have raised the tantalising prospect of a negotiated settlement to the war.
The fact that talks took place at all is significant, because they represent the first political engagement with the Taliban since the appointment of Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada as the insurgent group’s leader in May.
His predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, was killed that month in a United States military drone attack in western Pakistan because he had refused to accede to the peacemaking efforts of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group, which includes the governments of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the United States.
Parallel to the two reported meetings in Doha with the Afghan intelligence chief Masoom Stanekzai and an unidentified American representative, the Taliban’s Qatar-based envoys have also lobbied governments on either side of the Arabian Gulf to allow them to open further representative offices.
Read more ....
WNU Editor: From their perspective the Taliban believe that they are going to eventually win the war .... so why negotiate. But as I had mentioned a few days ago, this latest round of talks had to deal with something else .... Afghan Taliban Officials In Pakistan To Discuss 'Peace Talks' And the Arrest Of Key Taliban Leaders (October 22, 2016).