Pakistani and Afghan government officials say they have been assured by the Taliban that they are ready to engage in peace talks with the Afghan government with an eye on ending over 13 years of war.
Officials say the talks could start as soon as next month, but details have yet to be worked out. Both the US and Taliban have denied that any current talks are ongoing.
Pakistan has been leading the push for this new round of peace talks, and has been using its military intelligence community’s considerable influence to coax Taliban leadership to the negotiating table.
Whether the talks are going to amount to anything is another matter, as previous efforts to get the negotiations going stalled pretty quickly over minor procedural matters. The new Afghan government is trying to present itself as much more willing to make a deal than its predecessors, however, and that is reason to be optimistic.