New Delhi: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has announced the conditional release of three prominent Taliban leaders in an attempt to free an American and an Australian professor taken hostage in August 2016. The three members of the Haqqani network are Anas Haqqani, Haji Mali Khan and Hafiz Rashid. The decision to release them “conditionally in exchange” for the two teachers of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) in Kabul was made after intense negotiations by U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad. India’s former envoy to Afghanistan Vivek Katju discusses what this expected move means for the paused peace process, the Presidential polls, India not talking to the Taliban despite all regional and world powers engaging with them and the crucial role Pakistan has.
Vivek Katju has also been Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and Ambassador to Thailand and Myanmar (Burma).