As expected, the controversy over Russia’s alleged bounties for killing American and NATO troops in Afghanistan is steadily snowballing. The New York Times has come out with more leaks such as bank transfers from accounts identified with the Russian military intelligence to the Taliban, “hawala” transactions as well as the […]
Tag: Zalmay Khalilzad
The sensational disclosure by the New York Times on June 26 that Russia’s military intelligence agency paid bounties to Afghan militants to kill American and NATO troops in Afghanistan, opens a can of worms. It pollutes the air of US-Russian relations with a powerful stench. The ramifications are going to […]
It threatened to disappear under the viral haze of COVID-19, but February 29 saw representatives from the US and Taliban, loftily acknowledged as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, sign the “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan”. After two decades of conflict, the agreement sets in motion the process that should […]
Three significant things about Ashraf Ghani’s swearing-in ceremony in Kabul on Monday augur well for the implementation of the US-Taliban pact signed in Doha on February 29. One, the US officials, civilian and military, made a full court appearance at the ceremony in Kabul, affirming their reconciliation with Ghani. The […]
A mini mutiny in Kabul against the US-Taliban deal has been nipped in the bud and it should sound warning bells in Washington that the real threat to peacemaking in Afghanistan comes from one principal source — the interest groups that monopolise state agencies and are loathe to transfer power. […]
The chasm between illusion and reality in politics remains perennial. Wars seldom ended according to the script of peace agreements. The fall of Saigon in April 1975 ending Vietnam War, with defeated Americans hastily retreating in helicopters from the rooftop of their embassy, was not anticipated in the Paris Peace […]
When it comes to Afghanistan, Pakistan is Washington’s preferred partner, while India’s assigned role will be to serve as a doormat for the US’ containment policies against China, bandied about as its ‘Indo-Pacific strategy’. The Indian foreign policy elites owe an explanation as to how this bizarre situation came about. The entrenched Sinophobia in the Indian mindset has clouded rational thinking.
Without doubt, high-level consultations between Delhi and Washington are needed, given India’s centrality as a pivotal player in the US-conceived Indo-Pacific Security Template. The current preoccupations in Delhi over the general election will get over by May 19, and in the interim, the Indian establishment heaves a sigh of relief that Ghani government has succeeded in slowing down Khalilzad on his tracks.
The gathering in Moscow signalled one undeniable reality: the Taliban as a political force cannot be ignored. Remarks made in the immediate aftermath of the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 by US-led forces that the Taliban would be blown to smithereens and wiped off the lunar face of the country have come to nought.
Moscow hopes to work together with its regional partners and Afghanistan’s friends as well as the broader international community, especially the US, to help launch a constructive intra-Afghan dialogue. The American decision to nominate an “observer” to the Moscow conference was an encouraging step.