A Pakistani minister has branded the US ambassador to Kabul a "little pygmy" in a high-level diplomatic Twitter row that erupted over ongoing peace talks between Washington and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Stakes are high for the talks which follow a week of US-Taliban negotiations with both sides eyeing a resolution to the bloody 18-year conflict.
The Taliban have steadfastly refused to discuss peace with Ghani, whom they consider a US stooge heading an illegitimate regime.
Now is the “right moment” for peace in Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday as he once more called on the Taliban to negotiate with his government.
US and Taliban officials will on Tuesday resume talks in Qatar aimed at ending Afghanistan’s 18-year war, hours after a delegation of Afghan citizens and the militants ended a meeting with both sides
Four people were killed at a Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) centre in Wardak province, west of Kabul, during a night raid by Afghan forces last week,
Their meeting came during a marathon multi-country tour by Khalilzad, who is to visit Qatar — the usual venue for talks with the Taliban.
Ghani said the message of the five-day gathering was clear: “Afghans want peace” and offered a ceasefire, though he stressed it would not be unilateral. In the statement on Friday, the Taliban rejected a ceasefire, saying attacks will continue during Ramadan but said “fighters are very careful of civilians during any operation.”
Mena Mangal was well known in Kabul circles for her work presenting shows on several television networks, before she left journalism to become a cultural advisor to parliament.