Recent U.S.-Taliban talks: One step forward, two steps back?

The fifth round of talks between the United States and the Taliban ended in Doha last week after 16 days of engagement. As a result of the United States’ decades-long struggle in Afghanistan against the Taliban, President Donald Trump had announced, in December last year, his intention to withdraw from the war-torn country. He installed a special representative for reconciliation, Zalmay…

The Kashmir Challenge: Multilateralism is the only way forward

Pakistan’s nascent government is hoping for the resumption of bilateral talks with India. However, the government feels that this is not possible before the Indian parliamentary elections in April or May 2019, as electoral rhetoric in India demands an anti-Pakistan approach rather than pursuing dialogue with Pakistan. The political realities suggest that any progress towards reconciliation…

US Withdrawal from the INF & Future of the Non-Proliferation Regime

One after the other, Trump administration has been leaving international organisations, breaking deals and withdrawing from international arms control treaties. The list includes, US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, UN Human Rights Council, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. US also stopped funding the United Nations…

Afghan presidential elections: could deferral help the peace process?

Late last month, in a surprise move, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan announced that next year’s presidential elections will proceed as planned on April 20, after having considered postponing them for a few months. This occurred simultaneously with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, at the Geneva conference, reiteratinghis government’s intention to pursue a peace agreement with the…