Taliban has again done what it does best: make vague promises, extract concessions, and return to their original plan. Meanwhile, the interlocutors continue to extract more promises from the Taliban — hoping that the group has changed — only to return disappointed. This cycle repeats. Afghans suffer.
The newly announced Taliban government is a good illustration of this now-familiar playbook. Former President Hamid Karzai and the Head of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah’s presence in Qatar gave an impression that an interim government with broader representation is in the works. The Taliban made the right noises all through the Doha agreement negotiations about creating an inclusive government. But when the government was finally announced, it was anything but inclusive.