It seems the Afghan government and its allies in the US, UK etc, increasingly realise they’ll need to negotiate with him at some point.
They’re not allowed to negotiate with him while he’s on the blacklist; they’re very reluctant to take him off it.
This “wrestling with an olive branch” is likely to dominate the London Conference on the future direction of Afghanistan, which starts on Thursday.
Irrespective of whether supposedly “big-hearted” Taliban leaders are open to conversation – or hard cash – the very act of reaching out to them will enrage many (“cowardice or treason?” asks one commenter here)
There could be a middle way – but if it ends up with some Taliban commanders in government again, what was the point of forcing them out in the first place?
Is now the time to talk to the Taliban and / or buy them off? Or should the military offensive continue against them on principle? Should their leaders be taken off the blacklist in order to get them around the negotiating table?