Talking to the Taliban

Print edition : July 26, 2013

A spokesman for the Office of the Taliban of Afghanistan speaking during the opening of the Taliban Afghanistan Political Office in Doha onJune 18. The Afghanistan government was also supposed to participate in the U.S. administration's talks with the Taliban, but it withdrew angrily after the flag and the insignia of the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan", as the country was known during Taliban rule, were prominently displayed in Doha. Photo: MOHAMMED DABBOUS/REUTERS

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on January 11. Photo: JASON REED/REUTERS

Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in New Delhi on June 24. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Reuters

James Dobbins , U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, in New Delhi on June 27. Photo: MANSI THAPLIYAL/REUTERS

The Taliban office in Doha. The recently retired Emir of Qatar lavishly funded the construction of the building. Photo: Osama Faisal/AP

A transfer of authority ceremony of the police academy from NATO-led troops to Afghan soldiers. Photo: Rahmat Gul/AP

The Taliban masquerades as a government in waiting even as the U.S. is more than willing to enter into a negotiated settlement with the very force it helped to depose.
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