The shifting sands in Afghanistan

The Hindu, May 24, 2016

D. Suba Chandran, Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

The HinduThree major developments during the last 10 days are likely to have significant implications on the future of the Afghan peace process — the unsuccessful conclusion of the Afghan Quadrilateral Coordination Group’s (QCG) talks in Islamabad, the U.S. Congress’s conditions on Pakistan to do more on Afghanistan to receive any further American aid, and the killing of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Balochistan by an American drone.

Did one development cause the other? Or did they take place simultaneously, and is the sequencing just a coincidence? Either way, they have serious implications for the Afghan peace process. A fourth development, though not totally outside the above three, is a formal understanding between the Afghan government and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. This agreement, though more likely to strengthen the internal peace process within Afghanistan, would have its own repercussions on the QCG dialogue.

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