This report provides a firsthand account of the protracted negotiations and agreement between the Afghan government and Hezb-e Islami, offering insights for how similar talks might proceed with the Taliban.
For the first time since 2001, the Afghan government has entered talks with the Taliban in an effort to achieve a lasting peace. The Taliban has proven itself to be a resilient insurgency, bolstered by the sanctuary and support it has received in Pakistan. It has also taken on the role of rebel governor, engaging in service provision, justice delivery, and taxation in Afghan territories under its control. Having governed Afghanistan in the 1990s, the group maintains its ambition to resume its political project in the form of an emirate, even as it acknowledges the unprecedented transformation in Afghan state-society relations since 2001.
This collection of papers examines the Taliban as an insurgency and as a prospective participant in the Afghan state-building project through an exploration of the organization’s military, political, and ideological orientations and experiences on their own terms, and in comparison with other relevant cases.