Expert Voices

Afghan ceasefire an opportunity to improve U.S.–Pakistan relations

Afghan Army Chief of Staff, General Sharif Yaftali, during a press conference in Kabul on June 7, 2018.
Afghan Army Chief of Staff General Sharif Yaftali during a press conference in Kabul on June 7, 2018. Photo: Wakil Koshar/AFP via Getty Images

On June 7, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a unilateral ceasefire with the Taliban from June 12 to 20, which the U.S. said it would honor. The Taliban followed suit, announcing a 3-day ceasefire coinciding with the Afghan government’s.

Why it matters: The ceasefire’s outcome will almost certainly impact the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process: As the Taliban’s first ceasefire since the Afghanistan War’s inception in 2001, it indicates a strategic shift for how the group might engage in talks with the Afghan government. But the ceasefire also presents an opportunity for the U.S. and Pakistan to improve their bilateral relationship, which has hit a nadir.