This is the first time that Russia, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and India all got together in trying to hash out a solution to the conflict. While some observers scoffed at the large amount of independent players invited to the consultations and questioned whether anything could come out of such a meeting, others applauded the initiative for gathering all of the most relevant Eurasian stakeholders in one place and breathing new life into what’s bound to be a prolonged political process. One of the most interesting ideas that had been floated prior to the Moscow Summit was de-facto recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political actor and an indispensable on-the-ground force in fighting Daesh, though this hasn’t been without its share of wild Mainstream Media speculation and fear mongering.
US media outlets started fanning the flames of hysteria at the end of last year by alleging that Russia had somehow decided to “ally” itself with the Taliban, deliberately misconstruing and incompletely reporting the words of Russian special envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov who confirmed that there was low-level contact between the two and had extolled the group’s present anti-Daesh function. The Western-produced fake news at the time was meant to coincide with an earlier Moscow Summit at the end of December between Russia, China, and Pakistan, which paved the way for the latest six-party meeting that just took place. The visible trend that’s been recently emerging is that the Tripartite Partnership between Moscow, Beijing, and Islamabad is expanding its conflict resolution functions to incorporate Tehran and New Delhi, two important countries which also have a deep-seated interest in Afghanistan.
Noticeably, however, the US was excluded from both formats, showing that despite its prolonged military presence in the country, there doesn’t seem to be much enthusiasm in bringing it onboard this incipient process at this very moment. That’s not to say that the US won’t have a seat at the conference table sometime in the future, but just that right now, this is a Eurasian-owned framework which hopes to overcome the prior stalemates that occurred every time the US organized such talks and hopefully lead to a positive breakthrough this time around.
Imdad Hussain, journalist specializing on foreign affairs, issues of terrorism, and Afghanistan, and Tayyab Baloch, Islamabad-based writer at Katehon, and reporter at Abb Takk TV, commented on the issue.
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