Pakistan, being one of the important stakeholders in Afghan peace talks, has once again facilitated and provided grounds to break the deadlock and helped reinitiating peace talks between Afghan Taliban and the United States. The momentum of peace process in Afghanistan was earlier perished after the US President Donald Trump cancelled a secret meeting with Taliban leaders and the Afghan President at Camp David in Washington, DC. Soon after the breakdown of negotiations with the United States, the Taliban sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. The move came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for other regional states in future. The Taliban leaders indicated that the purpose of these visits is to inform leaders of these countries about the peace talks and President Trump’s decision to call off the peace process at a time when both sides had resolved all outstanding issues and were about to sign a peace agreement. Since the breakdown of peace talks, Afghanistan witnessed a series of car bombings and attacks and violence has once again engulfed Afghanistan, especially ahead of upcoming elections. However, Islamabad once again offered its assistance in breaking the deadlock. The US and Taliban delegation along with Pakistani official met in Islamabad to recommence the stalled peace process.

The Taliban seems to have made significant gains after the initiation of the peace talks, the most important being the recognition of their central position in the peace process. The fact that they have finally forced the Americans to have direct negotiations with them is seen by them as an acceptance of their geostrategic advantage within Afghanistan. The writ of the central government in Kabul is strongly contested in many areas. On the other hand, the Taliban have presence in 70 percent of the country without any major internal challenge. Islamabad knew that the road to peace would be bumpy but never expected talks to breakdown when a peace accord was about to be signed by the US and the Taliban. Pakistan has been facilitating the peace and reconciliation process in good faith and as a shared responsibility, and has encouraged all sides to remain engaged with sincerity and patience. Pakistan’s Afghanistan Policy and Imperatives are stable, peaceful and developing Afghanistan. On the other hand, India never wanted the Taliban to be welcomed at the discussion table because they have always perceived the Taliban as being non-state actors who should play no role in the peace process.

Though the peace talks on Afghanistan are continuing between the Afghan Taliban and the US, there was a growing realization within and amongst Afghanistan’s immediate neighbors that the region can no longer solely depend on the international community, and that it is time for them to take ownership of the region and fend for themselves by overcoming their differences, build positive relations and a common vision for the region. At this critical juncture, it is essential that all the stakeholders continue to engage in dialogue and as the only solution to end the turmoil in Afghanistan. In this regard, the resumption of dialogue, facilitated by Pakistan, can lead to positive results in continuing peace process in Afghanistan.