The incidents in the previous few weeks suggested that Taliban, after 17 years of constant war, will choose the path of peace once again. Even after a deadly attack on the city of Ghazni, President Ashraf Ghani tried to handle the situation calmly. The Taliban, on the other hand, has hinted on continuing the private talks with the USA.
Taliban has ignored Ghani’s offer of truce which means that the hopes are all but quashed. They have instead accepted an offer to talk in Moscow, which has further diminished any chances of direct talk. Though they have offered to release several hundreds of prisoners, it was not an immediate reply to Ghani’s offer.
Experts are referring it to be a political move by Taliban who is trying to gain out of weak relations between Washington and Russia. The recent attack on Ghani is also referred to be backed by some political motives. It is understood that perhaps the Taliban is trying to gain leverage in negotiations such as the implementation of Islamic law entirely in Afghanistan.
The Taliban is in win-win situation irrespective of the upcoming decisions. If it wins politically, it will gain, if it doesn’t, it will go back to its already known path. And with the USA and Afghanistan governments` decision to not send their representatives for a conference on Afghanistan, the situation has further aggravated.
On the face, Taliban too seems quizzed at US and Afghanistan’s decision to decline the invitation. A Taliban spokesperson, Zabiullah Mujahid said, “We do not know why Kabul and America are not taking part.”
Russia, even though after continuous efforts, has been able to achieve very little in this case. It is constantly voicing concerns about terrorism spreading from Afghanistan to its neighbouring countries and even reaching Russia itself. Its officials also expressed their disappointment on Taliban’s rejection of Ghani’s offer.
Taliban also seems to be stuck at this moment. It is unable to take a clear side. After the ceasefire in June, many Muslims civilians requested them to end the war which apparently caught the attention of Taliban and they are now caught in a fix. We expect some positive build-up, going into the future.