Pakistan: Karzai an Obstacle to Taliban Peace Deal

Afghan President Heads to Qatar to Try to Shore Up Taliban Ties

by Jason Ditz, March 24, 2013

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is facing a serious crisis of confidence, not only with the Afghan people and NATO occupation forces, but also with Pakistan, which is now saying they believe he is “the biggest impediment to the peace process.”

Karzai has often touted his efforts to secure peace talks with the Taliban, but has never really gotten anywhere with them, and as he heads to Qatar this week to talk to Taliban leaders, expectations are low.

Indeed there are now three distinct peace processes ongoing with the Taliban. The Karzai government’s effort has gone nowhere, and the Taliban backed out of the US talks after the Kandahar massacre, but the most promising track seems to be with Afghanistan’s opposition bloc.

Pakistan says they are concerned that if a deal isn’t reached with the Taliban by the end of 2014, saying they think there will be “complete chaos” and it will spill over into Pakistan. The Afghan opposition says largely the same thing, wanting a deal in place in the lead-up to the next election, in which Karzai can no longer run because of term limits.

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