Afghan leader’s offer to Taliban is a last-ditch gamble for peace

Source: The Guardian


A bold plan to draw the Taliban into a binding peace process looks like a last, desperate gamble by Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan’s embattled president, to end one of the world’s most intractable wars. His initiative may have come just in time.

Ghani’s initiative, unveiled at an international conference in Kabul on Wednesday, follows a sharp escalation in the number of Taliban attacks. More than 100 people were killed in an ambulance bombing in the capital last month, and at least 20 died in a siege at the Intercontinental hotel.

Lethal violence has become so endemic it is barely reported. Last week, nearly two dozen Afghan soldiers and three civilians died in multiple attacks across the country, including a double suicide bombing in southern Helmand province, where British troops once fought.

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