It has been six years since the horrific attack on Army Public School in Peshawar and today, on the 6th anniversary of the attack committed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, a delegation led by the Afghan Taliban’s deputy chief for political affairs Mullah Abdul Ghani Barader will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi during its stay in Islamabad.
A 20-day break in intra-Afghan negotiations and the coming transition of power from the United States to the Afghanis form the backdrop of Taliban’s latest visit to Islamabad. The Afghan government and Taliban negotiators have taken the break to consult their principals on the negotiations on the agenda of the talks. Meanwhile, with the coming change at the White House next month, intensified fighting in Afghanistan and lack of clarity about the next venue for the talks have inserted an element of uncertainty into the process.
Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, tweeted upon arrival to Islamabad:
2/3 Tragically, the war continues. The need for a political settlement, reduction in violence, and a ceasefire remain urgent.— U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) December 14, 2020
Pakistan not only helped the U.S and the Taliban sign their agreement, but also facilitated the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, and more recently the agreement on rules and procedures for the dialogue.