Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmai Khalilzad, has expressed concern about the recent string of assassinations in Afghanistan, and emphasised that Obama and Karzai need a reset. In his article published by the Nationa Interest, Mr Khalilzad says the Taliban is likely pursuing two objective through the assassinations. First, it seeks to reverse security gains in the south by destabilising the region and the country. Second, the Taliban hopes to undermine confidence in the Afghan government and in international forces, he writes He believes that by assassinating key Karzai allies and government officials, the Taliban demonstrates that it still retains a serious strike capability. Mr Khalilzad writes that at a psychological level, the killings counter the narrative that the surge and the build up of Afghan forces have brought greater security and that the coalition is in a position to transfer security responsibility to the Afghans. The campaign of assassinations poses an especially significant threat in light of the current political situation in Afghanistan, he writes. He believes the Obama administration made serious mistakes in dealing with Karzai during the first year in office. "He in turn has reacted in counterproductive ways. At the popular level, the tensions between the two governments have been exacerbated by the Obama administration's decision to withdraw surge forces at a faster pace than anticipated, even while negotiations on a long-term US-Afghan strategic partnership have stalled," Mr Khalilzad writes. Mr Zalmai Khalilzad adds that many Afghans fear that United States will abandon them once again, much as it did after the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan. "Meanwhile, the Afghan regime faces a number of other challenges. The Afghan people are uncertain about where their government is heading on key issues other than the security transition," he adds. Mr Khalilzad says that the legislative and executive branches are now locked in a stalement over how to proceed, after the special tribunal invalidated poll results for many seats in the National Assembly. He also writes that the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have not improved as Pakistan still supports insurgent networks. He adds that Iran also seems to be supporting insurgency without considering to its consequences for itself. The comments come some weeks after President Karzai's half-brother Ahmad Wali Karzai was shot dead by one of his highly trusted bodyguards in Kandahar following which the mayor of Kandahar Ghulam Haider Hamidi was also assassinated. In the recent months, the Taliban have claimed responsibility for the assassination of the high profile Afghan security officials in the north and in the south including Gen. Dawood Dawood the commander of police forces in the north, Maulana Sayed Khel, Police Chief of Kunduz and Khan Mohammad Mujahid police chief of Kandahar.