Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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Hardly a game-changer: Afghan Taliban’s release

AAN < 1 min

Dawn (Pakistan), 9 September 2013

Excellent editorial on the release of seven Afghan Taleban prisoners: "More than likely, the release … is a small confidence-building measure on the part of Pakistan to try and rehabilitate ties with outgoing President Karzai without significantly impacting the intra-Afghan dialogue process. … [a]t this late stage, with 2014 just months away, a positive game-changer can hardly be expected from any side. … there is a sense that the real prize is not contact with Afghan detainees on Pakistani soil but with Taliban leaders who have found sanctuary inside Pakistan. That infinitely more delicate process will likely be managed far away from the media spotlight … 

Nawaz Sharif’s government has continued the rather dispiriting approach of spouting banalities on key foreign relationships and keeping the substance hidden from the public. Consider that when Mr Karzai was in Islamabad, Prime Minister Sharif seemed to suggest that trade was the real key to better relations with Afghanistan — an assessment so far removed from reality as to be risible".