Columnist

Rahimullah Yusufzai

Rahimullah Yusufzai is a senior political and security analyst in Pakistan. He was the first to interview Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar and twice interviewed Osama Bin Laden in 1998. Twitter: @rahimyusufzai1

Latest published



The need for mediators increasingly felt in intra-Afghan deadlock

With levels of violence rising in Afghanistan and intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha deadlocked since two months, scattered calls for boycotting peace talks with the Taliban have been raised. 

November 18, 2020

The relevance of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to Pakistan

Former Mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was the latest among Afghan politicians invited to visit Pakistan as part of Islamabad’s new policy to reach out to important stakeholders in the Afghan peace process-- in its bid to improve bilateral relations.

October 24, 2020

Stalemate continues in resumed intra-Afghan talks

Though the intra-Afghan negotiations resumed recently in Doha after a frustrating break of nearly two weeks, there is no word yet about any chance of an understanding even on certain basic issues such as the rules of procedures.

October 17, 2020

Impasse in intra-Afghan talks and why breakthrough isn’t going to be easy

The lack of progress in the intra-Afghan negotiations that began more than three weeks ago in Doha, Qatar has become a cause of concern and prompted the US to offer mediation between the Afghan government and Taliban.

October 07, 2020

Will bomb attack on Afghan vice president subvert Taliban peace talks?

Afghanistan's first Vice President Amrullah Saleh survived a roadside bomb explosion that targeted his convoy in Kabul on Wednesday. Questions are rising now whether peace talks with the Taliban — already delayed several times — will begin, as planned, in the coming days.

September 10, 2020

Is Afghanistan facilitating cross-border attacks?

For years Islamabad kept complaining that militants escaping its military operations in Pakistan's northwestern region had found refuge in Afghanistan and were using its territory to plan and execute cross-border attacks.   

August 06, 2020

Uncertainty over prisoner swap program leaves intra-Afghan talks in limbo

While both the Afghan government and Taliban continue to maintain that they are ready to start the crucial intra-Afghan negotiations, just a week after the completion of a promised prisoners’ exchange program, the two groups are yet to take the steps required to complete the process.

July 21, 2020

A quiet diplomacy: Intra-Afghan talks and the push for peace in Afghanistan

Finally the last hurdles for starting already delayed intra-Afghan negotiations are being removed in a bid to end nearly two decades of war in Afghanistan.

June 15, 2020