Two days of high-level talks about the possibility of holding peace talks in the future began today in Islamabad, with the Afghan government and Taliban sending delegations to the negotiation. They are said to be the highest-level talks they’ve held in years.
Pakistan helped broker the talks as well as hosting them, and US and Chinese officials were reportedly in attendance at the talks as “observers.” Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif praised the talks as a breakthrough, though he was not in the country at the time.
The Afghan and Taliban officials have been in talks trying to start peace talks for several years, though they have never made any serious progress, with the opening of a Taliban office in Qatar in 2013, to serve as the point of contact, ended almost instantly with Afghan officials furious about the Taliban calling themselves a government-in-exile.
Taliban officials are not in agreement whether these new talks in Islamabad are even talks, with some insisting that the delegation in attendance wasn’t authorized to attend a meeting, and insisting at any rate that there were no peace talks ongoing.