August 30, 2019

The Key Role Pakistan Is Playing In U.S.-Taliban Talks

By Stephen Tankel

A bomb parked under the preacher's pulpit in a mosque likely had a high-profile target: a brother of the Taliban leader. It was seen by the Taliban as a warning to stop their talks with the United States.

The bombing, on Aug. 16, was in Pakistan — on the outskirts of the garrison town of Quetta, near the Afghan border. And its location spotlighted something else: the powerful and uneasy place of Pakistan in these negotiations. Quetta is widely understood to be the base of Afghanistan's Taliban leadership.

Critics have long contended that Pakistan has held some sway over the Taliban by offering them shelter, if not outright support.

Listen to the full story and more on NPR's Morning Edition.


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