Afghanistan: Tensions rise as peace negotiations begin

Senior officials from the Pakistani army and Afghan government will be holding open peace talks with the Taliban, marking the first joint effort towards a diplomatic by the two countries simultaneously. Ashraf Ghani’s government is under fire by the new Parliament for negotiating with Pakistan to the degree it has – even former President Hamid Karzai has chimed in condemning the joint efforts. Other countries have reacted positively, including China, who has offered to broker the talks as a “neutral” third party.

Afghan lawmakers say that most who are not members of Ghani’s inner circle are suspicious of Pakistan’s role in the Taliban peace talks. Under Karzai, Afghanistan long accused Pakistan of using the Taliban to push its own agenda. Ghani’s outreach to Islamabad has caused concern among those who still point to Pakistan and the ISI as the source of the Taliban’s support and funding.

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