Wednesday, September 18, 2019
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Step Towards Afghan Peace?

Some of the buzz at the recently concluded Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi was about Afghanistan. There is a view that the latest U.S. diplomatic initiative is the best chance of stabilising and bringing some peace to that country. The argument centres around two points: that the Trump administration has reversed long standing policy towards Pakistan by acknowledging it is the main instigator and abettor of terrorism in Afghanistan. Therefore, the problem lies in Pakistan and must be dealt with. Second, the appointment of Zalmay Khalilzad, himself an Afghan (although his Pashtun origins are questioned), is seen as significant as he has been a long-standing critic of Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan. With policy and ‘instrument’ in place, one waits to see how the U.S. strategy unfolds.