Moscow has downplayed concerns about the dramatic insurgent advances and said these advances don't threaten the stability of neighboring Central Asian states and Moscow’s regional security interests.
Afghans are disheartened by their leadership – both President Ghani and the Taliban. The common perception is that the Afghan leadership has squandered the opportunity in the intra-Afghan peace talks to resolve the conflict by stubbornly sticking to their respective positions.
The vibes out of Washington for Pakistan are not promising at all. If the US establishment believes Pakistan failed its military mission in Afghanistan, then it would be hardly surprising if it sets out to settle scores.
Digging up dead horses or parroting old clichés does not help peace. Collective peace is much more important than the livelihoods of a few. Investing in Biden’s anti-peace efforts or questioning Pakistan’s past motives will not take away the credit that belongs to it and is acknowledged by all regional powers.
While the US, Russia and China have their own interests in the matter one should be careful to try to put pressure on a process that is supposed to be ‘Afghan-led and Afghan-owned; the experience with the Bonn conference in 2001 that tried to prescribe conditions to Afghans have rather not been helpful. And the threat of the US to delay their troop pull-out is a game-breaker looming large over the situation.
Climate change and water mismanagement could create a food crisis, as Afghanistan’s biggest potato-producing province records a dramatic drop in precipitation
A southbound logistics corridor via the Gwadar Port can increase regional connectivity and trade, offering Central Asian states direct access to the deepsea port. Plans are also afoot to connect Uzbekistan with Pakistan via Afghanistan through railway.
Any major deviation from the basic contours of the existing agreement will only help spoilers of peace and not the millions of Afghans who are desperate for a return to normalcy. This could also erode trust in the inviolability of future peace agreements that consume enormous effort and time to mature.
Women are a pale presence in the on-again, off-again, U.S.-brokered Afghanistan peace process underway in Doha, Qatar. The Taliban, which still controls roughly 30% of Afghanistan’s territory, has no women on its negotiating team. Only four of the Afghan government’s 21 negotiators are women – even though several women play prominent roles within the national government.
Are Afghanistan's key power players positioning themselves for a new phase of fierce power struggle, particularly in view of President Ghani’s determination to hang on to power? He may be banking on Joe Biden’s victory but will Biden be able to reverse much of Trump’s doing including a partial choking of funds for Kabul?