Thursday August 31, 2017
The Associated Press has carried an exclusive report regarding the intensive, on-going political dialogue between the Afghan government and the Taliban behind the scene, the appearance of a "stalemate" notwithstanding. That such contacts have been going on was a widely known secret, but the AP report is specific regarding their high frequency and it discloses that these contacts are handled at a very high level. There is no reason to doubt the AP claim citing authoritative sources.
Thus, there are two aspects here – the timing of the "leak" and contents of the leak. The curious thing about the timing is that this "leak" has appeared just 10 days after US President Donald Trump’s speech outlining the way forward in Afghanistan. To say the very least, the leak significantly moderates the US’ newly proclaimed Afghan strategy and gives it a "human face." The comfort level in Pakistan should rise by a few notches at least.
Quite obviously, some well-informed source with access to a highly restricted "Top Secret" document has shared the info with AP. It can only be a top level Afghan source close to the leadership in Kabul or a foreign power (like the US) which has every business to know in real time what its puppet regime in Kabul is up to.