We have known for months that the United States has begun direct talks with representatives of the Taliban. And as I wrote in this story, the death of Osama bin Laden in a U.S. raid on May 2 should make it easier for the Taliban to break with al Qaeda, a fundamental requirement for including them in any eventual political settlement in Afghanistan. But lest anyone should think these talks, combined with bin Laden’s death, would somehow produce an early end to the Afghan war, it is important to remember that engaging with the Taliban is only a necessary but far from sufficient condition for a political settlement.
Pakistan: Now or Never?
from Afghan Journal:
Pakistan has launched four separate investigations into the life and death of Osama bin Laden on its soil, according to U.S. Senator John Kerry. The army, the air force and the intelligence establishment are running a probe each while parliament last week ordered an investigation by an independent commission to be set up for the purpose.
from Afghan Journal:
In conducting a raid deep inside Pakistan to take out Osama bin Laden, the United States pushed the boundaries of military operations, inter-state ties and international law, all of which are the subject of a raging debate in the region and beyond.
On Tuesday, May 10 at 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. EST, Reuters is hosting a liveblog about Pakistan and what’s next for it after Osama bin Laden’s death. Reuters journalist Myra MacDonald, who runs the “Pakistan: Now or Never?” blog on Reuters.com, will answer your queries and respond to your comments so please leave them below in the “comments” section at the bottom of this post.
The question of whether the links between the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda can be broken has been discussed at length over the past year or so, and will be a major factor in any eventual peace settlement with insurgents in Afghanistan.
In the absence of any claims, and a denial of involvement by the main local separatist group, the Indian media is are starting to point the finger at a Bangladeshi militant Islamist group for Thursday’s multiple bombings that left 65 left dead and more than 300 wounded in Assam state.