In recent weeks, the fragile U.S.-Pakistan-Afghanistan triangle has suffered some body blows. First, Afghan national security adviser Hamdullah Mohib excoriated lead U.S. negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad, accusing him of trying to delegitimize the Afghan government.
Then, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan publicly endorsed the idea of an interim government in Afghanistan. An incensed Kabul accused Khan of interfering in Afghan affairs, and the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan expressed his displeasure as well.
These spats come at a delicate moment for regional diplomacy, with Washington continuing negotiations with the Taliban with Pakistani assistance--and with Kabul sidelined altogether.
In this latest episode of The AfPak File, a joint biweekly podcast of RFE/RL and The Wilson Center, experts debate the significance of these trilateral tensions and their implications for talks with the Taliban and for Afghanistan on the whole.
The guests were Omar Samad, a former Afghan diplomat and now a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council; Raoof Hasan, executive director of the Regional Peace Institute in Islamabad; and Michael Kugelman, Asia Program deputy director and senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center. RFE/RL media manager Muhammad Tahir moderated the discussion.