Will Pakistan Continue to Play a Constructive Role in the Afghan Peace Process?

Will Pakistan Continue to Play a Constructive Role in the Afghan Peace Process?
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, right, meets U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad, Pakistan, Aug. 1, 2019 (Pakistan Press Information Department photo via AP Images).

The United States and the Taliban signed an agreement in late February that sets a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. The negotiations leading up to the deal were long and fraught, and they almost fell apart last September, after President Donald Trump suspended talks and canceled a planned summit with Taliban leaders at Camp David.

But as difficult as the talks were, they pale in comparison to what lies ahead: launching, sustaining and successfully concluding a formal intra-Afghan peace process between the government in Kabul and the Taliban, as well as other Afghan political leaders.

Questions abound about the intra-Afghan dialogue: Will a divided and feuding Afghan political class be able to effectively represent the state? And will the Taliban agree to negotiate a power-sharing deal within a political system that it has long rejected and vowed to overthrow by force?

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