Stars and Stripes stripes.com 13 Jan, 2021 22:15 am

Peace talks faltering, violence has surged, US troops are leaving — Can the Afghan government withstand the pressure?

Peace talks faltering, violence has surged, US troops are leaving — Can the Afghan government withstand the pressure?
Growing uncertainty over peace talks with the Taliban, a drumbeat of targeted killings and the looming withdrawal of U.S. troops have raised tension here to a fever pitch, prompting calls for President Ashraf Ghani to step down and an interim government to take over.

troops have raised tension here to a fever pitch, prompting calls for President Ashraf Ghani to step down and an interim government to take over."The only way to break the current deadlock is to form an interim government," said Jafar Mahdavi, a former legislator who is involved in the peace talks process.Now they view Khalilzad as pushing too hard for a quick settlement among Afghans, especially amid local media reports that he was encouraging an interim government."We have not advocated, and the United States is not advocating, an interim government," he wrote.

" Abdullah Abdullah, head of the government council for peace and reconciliation, has said for months that he would be open to the creation of an interim government if that would help the prospects for peace." Some Afghan officials and experts have called for an interim government to be used only as a last resort.

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