US President Donald Trump's surprise visit to Afghanistan was a cutting image of how President Ashraf Ghani's government has become an afterthought.
A crop of dedicated security chiefs hold the keys to Afghanistan's future, not the Taliban.
Washington-based Special Inspector-General for Afghan Reconstruction said in a report earlier this year that the country may not be ready for peace unless it finds a way to reintegrate Taliban fighters into society and combat "endemic corruption".
China's first engaged the Taliban to protect its interests in Afghanistan in the 90s. Decades later, history repeats itself.
Taliban officials meet a group of Afghan delegates in Doha as part of diplomatic efforts to end years of violence and build trust between Afghan civilians and the insurgent group.
Peace may be closer than ever in Afghanistan, as the Taliban and the US get ready for talks on June 29 with the aim of reaching a peace deal before the country’s presidential elections in September.
Will the son of the legendary 'Lion of Panjshir' help to shape Afghanistan's future?
The meeting in Russia is another attempt to negotiate peace in a country that has been ravaged by decades of war.
The move comes during increased diplomatic efforts to revive stalled talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, following the failure of a planned get-together in the Qatari capital Doha last month.
The four-day consultative grand assembly, known as a "loya jirga", is an attempt by President Ashraf Ghani to influence peace talks between the United States and the Taliban, which the militants have excluded his government from.
Afghan politics has always been a complicated and ruthless affair, yet Karzai has withstood the turbulence like no leader before him.
Foreign invaders and elite urban Afghans have long underestimated or ignored rural Afghanistan, and they have all paid the price of doing so.
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