News / Asia

    Pakistani Military's Taliban Ties Seen as Important to Afghan Peace Talks

    Delegations from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China discuss a road map for ending the war with the Taliban at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 23, 2016.
    Delegations from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China discuss a road map for ending the war with the Taliban at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 23, 2016.
    VOA News

    With the announcement of a new round of Afghan peace talks by the first week of March, Pakistan's military appears to be retaining its role as a key dealmaker in the process.

    On Monday, Pakistan’s army chief, General Raheel Sharif, met officials from Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office, to prepare the way for the talks, which are expected to take place in Islamabad.  

    Pakistan's military leaders have rarely taken such a public role in the Afghan peace process. The country's spy agency has maintained ties with the Afghan Taliban since the group came to power. Since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, Afghan and U.S. officials have accused Pakistan of giving safe harbor to senior Taliban leaders and allowing militants to use Pakistan's border regions to plan attacks.

    Pakistani authorities deny the allegations, but their relations with the Afghan Taliban are seen as important to the peace talks, Pakistan defense analyst Hasan Askari told VOA Deewa.

    The Pakistani military "has a long history of dealing with the Afghan Taliban and can exert its influence over [the] Taliban," Askari said.

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has accused the Taliban of being a proxy force for Islamabad's regional interests. However, the president has also defended involving Pakistan in the peace talks.  

    Key realization

    Hamid Arslan, a defense analyst associated with Washington-based National Endowment for Democracy, said the Afghan government has realized the significance of the Pakistani military's sway over the Afghan Taliban.

    "I think President Ghani realizes that reaching an agreement with Pakistan and especially the Pakistani military establishment will be part of an agreement reached with the Taliban," he said.

    Others see Pakistan military’s influence as necessary after years of inaction by the political leadership in both Kabul and Islamabad.

    Afghan analyst Sarwar Ahmadzi told VOA Urdu, “Between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the political leaders did not come to an agreement to deal with the Taliban negotiations, and that is why the [Pakistani] army stepped in. I think the international community has more confidence in [the] Pakistani military [leadership’s ability] to bring [the] Taliban to the negotiating table."  

    The peace talks have been suspended since July, when it was revealed that the Taliban's longtime leader, Mullah Omar, had been dead for years. Since then, there has been speculation that the Taliban are splintering under their new leader. However, the militants have kept up pressure on Afghan security forces, seizing territory and carrying out attacks that have led to further instability.

    The peace talks are expected to go on for months.

    You May Like

    South Sudan Sends First Ever Official Olympic Team to Rio

    VOA caught up with Santino Kenyi, 16, one of three athletes who will compete in this year's summer games in Brazil

    Arrest of Malawi's 'Hyena' Man Highlights Clash of Ritual, Health and Women's Rights

    Ritual practice of deflowering young girls is blamed for spreading deadly AIDS virus

    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    VOA finds things Americans take for granted are special to foreigners

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora