Executive Intelligence Review


Former Indian Diplomat Considers Pakistan Crucial in U.S.-Taliban Talks for Afghan Peace

Jan 28 (EIRNS)—Former Indian Ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar said in his blog “Indian Punchline” that the present negotiations between the United States and the Taliban to resolve the Afghan conflict are different from the earlier, failed attempts, because of Pakistan’s new role. He wrote:

“The happenings of the past few days or weeks suggest three things: One, Pakistan is not seeking a Taliban takeover by force in Afghanistan (even assuming that it has the capability to do so); Two, Pakistan seems open to a broad-based government in Afghanistan (which includes the Taliban or is led by the Taliban); and Three, Pakistan wants the U.S. to remain engaged and committed to post-war Afghanistan. However, the bottom line is that Pakistan realizes that the U.S. is making unprecedented concessions, and an optimal point is at hand to close the deal.”

The U.S. concession Bhadrakumar referred to is the its promise made in the undeclared and unsigned agreement reached with the Taliban. In the agreement, the U.S. has committed to withdrawing its troops if the Taliban provide a guarantee that Afghan soil will not be used to threaten international security.

Bhadrakumar further described that on the ground there are growing signs that Pakistan is marginalizing or eliminating the hardline elements within the Taliban.

“Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported last week somewhat cryptically that Mullah Yaghoub, the son of the Taliban’s founder, the late Mullah Omar, and a member of the so-called Quetta Shura, was killed in Peshawar [Pakistan] following differences.”

He also stated that earlier, the Afghan media reported that a number of Taliban leaders in Pakistan were arrested after their meeting with Pakistan army commanders.