Following the signing of the peace agreement between the Afghan Taliban and the USA on February 29, 2020, most observers expected the violence in the country to subside, paving the way for negotiations among the Afghan people. No tangible progress in the Afghan reconciliation process — particularly the dialogue between President Ashraf Ghani’s government and the Taliban — has been achieved thus far, however.
This paper sheds light on the background and drivers of the Afghan presidential crisis between the current president Mohamed Ashraf Ghani and his bitter rival Abdullah Abdullah who again rejected the results of the recent presidential elections, declaring that he will seek to form a parallel government. The paper attempts to explore the prospects of the resolution of the crisis in light of the latest developments.
In a remarkable turn of events, the two parties to Afghanistan's 19-year conflict, the United States (U.S.) and the Taliban, decided to sit at the same table for direct talks aimed at nailing down a "peace deal". This qualitative shift is partly necessitated by massive human and material costs incurred by the two parties since 2001 without either of them being able to resolve the conflict militarily. Nor did the political system that was built in Afghanistan after the removal of the Taliban regime succeed in proving political or economic or security efficiency, which kept the Taliban alive and kicking to this day.
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