KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – AUGUST 17: As Taliban took control of the capital Kabul, the daily life in Afghanistan is almost back to normal.
The Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday and took control of Afghanistan. The Afghan government has collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled abroad as foreign troops withdrew.
Islamabad is said to have influence over the Taliban, and thus has an important role in the Afghan peace process.
In December 2018, Pakistan arranged rare direct talks between the US and the Taliban, which led to the Doha peace deal in February 2020, and subsequently, the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghan soil.
In July 2015, Islamabad also facilitated the historic first round of direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Pakistan.
The process, however, broke down after the news of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar’s death surfaced, triggering a bitter internal power struggle.
It was hampered further in 2016 by the assassination of Omer’s successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, in a US drone strike on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Former US President Donald Trump stepped up efforts in August 2019 to restart the long-stalled process, seeking Pakistan’s assistance in ending Washington’s longest war in recent history.