The United States has cut more than US$ 160m in direct funding to Afghanistan
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai refused to be drawn on the many direct Taliban attacks which had killed ordinary men, women and children.
Strategically located Afghanistan has been invaded by many powers but none has been able to hold it.
US warplanes dropped more than 7,300 munitions on Afghanistan in 2018, compared to 4,361 in 2017 and just 947 in 2015.
Sharing power is anathema for militants and extremists and the Taliban is militant and extremist
Taliban did not and will not want an agreement as it believes in exercising unbridled power.
Taliban is notorious for doublespeak and when it says there is no link between the Kashmir issue and the Afghan settlement, the opposite may be true, says former Ambassador Bhadrakumar
The Taliban is, in fact, in a zero sum game. The choices for it are stark: it is either acquisition of total power or continuance of the fighting
The stumbling blocks will be the US demand for the right to keep a contingent of troops in Afghanistan after a settlement with the Taliban and the Taliban's commitment to ensuring a ceasefire.
Thirty years have passed since the end of the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, but more than 200 Soviet troops stayed behind to become full-fledged Afghans.