Now It's Serious: Afghan Peace Talks Could Actually Bear Fruit | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Now It's Serious: Afghan Peace Talks Could Actually Bear Fruit

Dramatic news is filtering in from Qatar where the United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and his delegation were huddled together with the representatives of the Taliban for four consecutive days since Monday. The duration of the talks unmistakably signifies that complex negotiations have taken place. Things are moving almost entirely in the direction I had indicated in my earlier blog US officials converge on Pakistan seeking peace.

What comes to mind for a longtime observer and interlocutor in Afghan affairs will be the lines from T.S. Eliot’s poem Four Quartets, “Footfalls echo in the memory, down the passage we did not take, towards the door we never opened, into the rose garden.” The ‘foot falls in the memory’ go as far back as the forenoon of April 15, 1992 when the then Representative of Secretary-General on Settlement of Situation Relating to Afghanistan, Benon Sevan appeared in the compound of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad straight from a meeting of top Pakistani officials under way chaired by then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to transmit a tantalizing idea to New Delhi as to whether Dr. Najibullah who was stepping down from the office of president of Afghanistan within a day could live in exile in India. (The positive reply from PM Narasimha Rao came on phone within two hours.)

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