US-Taliban talks

US-Taliban talks

US and Taliban, according to  US point man on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, have agreed in principle on a framework for ending their war. The agreement which was arrived at in talks in Qatar envisages US pulling out troops in return for assurances that Afghanistan will never again become a haven for international jihadi groups. The US  also wants Taliban to ceasefire and  negotiate with the Afghan government.  This is a positive development and we can only hope that the two parties take the process forward. However, considering the complexities involved, a formal agreement may take some more time. More so, when Taliban hasn’t  so far  been forthcoming enough about the detail of the terms. The existing situation thus might continue for some more time before getting any better. But an ongoing effort for the resolution will, in any case, be better than a war of attrition. More so, when Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan is only one part of the larger and layered security nightmare that this region has become. When it happens the US exit from Afghanistan is set to usher in a profound geo-political transformation  This situation has unsettling dimensions and unless the countries of the region especially India and Pakistan, get together and jointly address the problems in Afghanistan post US withdrawal, the new forces and factors which are likely to be unleashed could detrimentally impact the region.  And if the situation continues like this, there is every possibility that US exit would disturb the arrangements that had stabilized the region for the past seventeen years and push it back over the edge. But unfortunately, when these changes are upon us the regional powers can’t seem to care less.Instead, there is a disparate bid by them to secure their individual interests in Afghanistan, a strategy that can only guarantee further destabilization. The  larger uncertain regional situation demands a broader regional cooperation, more so, between India  and Pakistan. It is only hoped that New Delhi and Islamabad realizing the momentous changes sweeping through region will cooperate to not only steer the region through this fraught transition but also take concrete steps to mend their lingering differences which alone will be the guarantee for a sustainably peaceful South Asia.