He may ask Ghani to step aside and make way for an interim government, in the hope that this will halt the apparent slide into chaos. The Taliban are capturing territory rapidly across Afghanistan and panic is spreading among government security forces. The Taliban are complying with a promise not to attack provincial capitals but have surrounded several and are just waiting for US and other NATO-led forces to leave Afghanistan.
- Pakistan, Iran and perhaps Russia and Saudi Arabia are lobbying for their proteges to be included or spared under Taliban rule.
- The international focus will switch to damage limitation and securing Taliban cooperation on counter-terrorism and minimal human rights.
- The pace of the Taliban’s advance is so stunning that Islamabad is wondering how it can curb or control them.