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BEST OF BASH

Hamid Karzai

Talks with Taliban a 'waste of time,' says critic of Afghanistan's president

As military and political setbacks mount, Afghanistan’s embattled president, Ashraf Ghani, has insisted the time is right to seek direct peace talks with resurgent Taliban militants.

Now an influential figure in Ghani’s government has blasted the peace strategy as a “waste of time” given the Taliban’s successes and the government's weakness, and said the four-nation effort – which includes the United States, China and Pakistan – is doomed to fail.

“What do the Taliban stand to gain at this time from negotiating with the government?” said Ahmad Zia Massoud, who holds the title of Ghani’s special representative for...

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