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.
This chapter presents core elements of the Taliban’s vision as to how a peace process should unfold.
These channels have multiplied over the last year, and provide substantial insight on the Taliban’s potential positions, priorities and internal debates.
One should be careful not to overstate the reliability of such insights.
One effect of this cascade of events has been a commensurately elevated discussion in Kabul and across Afghanistan about what the content of a political settlement actually should be.
Where once the discourse around this issue limited itself to preliminary issues like whether to recognise a formal Taliban office in Qatar, a visitor to Kabul now encounters deeply substantive conversations across the Afghan political elite on the core components of a potential deal: the form and make-up of a post-settlement government, potential revisions to the constitution, mechanisms for reabsorbing Taliban fighters, and—perhaps most controversially—how to address the presence of foreign troops.
Ariana: Pakistan’s army and the Quetta Shura are designing programs for the Taliban insurgent group, a senior member of Ashraf Ghani’s State-Builder team said on Saturday.
Amrullah Saleh, the former chief of Afghan intelligence agency and first Vice President of Ashraf Ghani’s electoral ticket said that the Taliban are not independent to launch direct talks with the Afghan government. There could be a vast gulf between a view expressed in a private conversation today and an official negotiating position someday in the future.Some themes, however, emerge consistently across these conversations, tracing back to different parts of the Taliban hierarchy, and suggest the group has an increasingly coherent and consistent view of how a peace agreement should proceed.They evince little openness to discussing internal political issues before related assurances are in hand, and it would be a mistake to interpret the modest flexibility in their position as a sign that they ultimately want foreign troops to stay.Taliban interlocutors describe a mostly consistent sequence of events that the US announcement of an end date should set in motion.It agreed to the June ceasefire (likely failing to anticipate the depth of pro-peace sentiment the ceasefire would reveal within its own ranks), and its own public statements suggest the group is taking the dialogue with the US seriously.