Sunday, January 10, 2016

Peace Talks

January 11th Peace Talks. Multi-state peace talks including the nations of China, U.S., Afghanistan and Pakistan are scheduled for January 11th. A second round of talks, not yet scheduled, will be held in Kabul. The participation of China and the United States is consider key by many observers - with hopes that the two nations can keep the talks on track. The representatives of the four nations will meet in Islamabad, Pakistan to revive peace negotiations that stalled in July after the disclosure of the death of the Afghan Taliban leader - Mullah Omar.

Iran & Peace Talks. It is being reported that Iran officials want to have full presence and direct participation in the Afghanistan peace talks process. There is no indication that the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China are having any of that.

Pakistan's Role? Lisa Curtis, a senior research fellow in The Heritage Foundation's Asian Studies Center, examines Pakistan's role in the never-ending quest to get peace talks established between the Afghan government and the Taliban. She paints a disquieting picture. Afghanistan After America's War, December 2016.

Winter Surge - Taliban Seeking Upper Hand? One commentator believes that the unprecedented winter surge of 2015-2016 by the Taliban points to a desire for an upper hand in peace talks. Read "Afghan Taliban seek leverage in dangerous winter surge", The Times of India, January 6, 2016.

Include Women in Peace Talks? The Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization has come out strongly endorsing the participation of women in the upcoming peace talks scheduled for January 11th. Afghan women and international observers are fearful that the government (and international players) will trade away women's rights as a concession to the Taliban. Read more in "Afghanistan: Include Women in New Peace Talks", Human Rights Watch, January 4, 2016.

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