South Asia and Beyond

U.S. Exits, Taliban Advances; Ghani, Abdullah ‘Show Unity’ In Biden Meeting

NEW DELHI: This is “our 1861 moment,” Afghan President Ashraf Ghani repeatedly said in Washington, D.C. alongside his many-time political rival Abdullah Abdullah. “When President Lincoln entered Washington besieged, seemingly isolated, and on the verge of an actual war, his approach of unity, finding his Grant and Sherman, worked,” he said in public remarks during several meetings with Biden administration officials. Probably alluding to Mark Twain, he also said, “I hope that nobody does the Bernard Shaw on us — exaggerating our death before something has happened.” All this while U.S. troops are on course for a July 4th U.S. Independence Day exit and the Taliban have captured 69 more of the country’s 407 districts since May 1. Bill Roggio, editor of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal counts the Taliban now holding 142 districts, and fighting for control of about 170. India has also opened ‘channels of communication’ with the Taliban even as it ‘engages with all stakeholders’.

Ambassador Vivek Katju, India’s former envoy to Afghanistan and Dr Torek Farhadi, a former advisor to Presidents Ghani, Hamid Karzai, the IMF, World Bank and UN discuss the unfolding events and potential repercussions with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.

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