Afghan Peace Talks Could Restart Within Weeks

Afghan Peace Talks Could Restart Within WeeksAfghan Peace Talks Could Restart Within Weeks

Pakistan-brokered peace talks between Afghanistan and Taliban insurgents could restart in early January after weeks of pressure from partners including the United States and China, officials in Islamabad and Kabul said.

The head of Pakistan’s army, General Raheel Sharif, is expected in Afghanistan this week in the latest in a series of high-level contacts between Islamabad and Kabul to restart the peace process which was broken off in July, according to Reuters.

The aim is to end more than 14 years of war with the Taliban, who held power in Afghanistan until 2001 but were overthrown in a U.S.-backed campaign for harboring the al Qaeda leaders behind the Sept. 11 attacks. Since then they have waged a potent insurgency against the Kabul government, stepping up their attacks since the pullout of most foreign troops in 2014.

A senior Pakistani official told Reuters the resumption of talks should take “not longer than two weeks ... I would say the first week of January we will see the process restart again.”

He said the current plan was for the meetings to be held in Pakistan. The aim was to bring Afghan and Pakistani leaders together with special representatives from China and the United States as well as Taliban representatives.