Despite the general view that the eighth round of peace talks between the United States (US) and the Afghan Taliban has failed, the Taliban spokesperson, Suhail Shaheen, believes to the contrary. The negotiating parties need to consult their leaderships on some technical points, Mr Shaheen maintains. The views expressed by the Taliban spokesperson are not different than those of Zalmay Khalilzad, chief negotiator in the US team.

But the consultation phase will probably prove a lengthy phase. Each party will try to design the “mechanism and implementation part” to gain a maximum advantage will create a deadlock in the talks. Therefore, both parties need to rely on a win-win strategy if they want no further deadlocks.

But just a win-win strategy is not enough in this regard. The ground situation in Afghanistan is also making the negotiations complicated. Each of the two sides considers the other one not sincere in making the talks a success. The Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhunzada’s Eid message, for instance, blames the US for not being an honest party in the peace process. And the US thinks the same about the Taliban.

Will the US successfully reach the peace deal before the 1st of September? Or even before the Afghan elections that are to take place on the 28th of September? Given the fact that the Taliban have yet to announce a ceasefire and show a willingness to become a party to an intra-Afghan dialogue, striking of a peace deal in a few weeks sounds impossible.

What will be the delay in finalising a peace deal mean to Afghanistan in the days to come? The delay in the peace deal will mar the upcoming elections with an uptick in violence. The Taliban have already asked the Afghan public to refrain from participating in “sham” elections. Because the Taliban have increased their reliance on violence to achieve their goals, the chances are that the polls will be bloodier than the previous ones.