In December 2018, U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris—then a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee—travelled to Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif and Kandahar in Afghanistan. Back then she had declared that the war in Afghanistan must end, of course after coordination with regional allies in order to protect gains made over the years for Afghan women and others. In September 2020, at Doha, Qatar, in what turned out to be a defining moment in Afghan history, Taliban representatives and a 21-member group from Afghanistan sat across the table for the very first time to discuss conditions for peace which has been extremely hard to come by in war-ravaged Afghanistan. In the group drawn from all walks were four brave women, one of whom, shot at just weeks before, had her arm in a sling and had also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr Tahir Qadiry, Chargé D’ Affaires, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in India whom we interviewed a year back, spoke to us again for this edition, this time with an emphasis on the peace talks, and overall bilateral relations. Even though he says it’s too early to comment which way the peace negotiations with the Taliban will go, it is clear that the entire world interested in security in the region is watching closely as the two groups inch towards a compromise. “That these groups are able to sit across the table and discuss the future is in itself an achievement. It is a very good first step,” he says. Following the talks, contact groups are speaking almost every day to resolve disputed issues, and have been negotiating.