Hard talk

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There was always going to be a lot riding on the first direct meeting between the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) and the Afghan Taliban. Two years after Hamid Karzai flew to Murree to persuade Pakistan to release Mullah Baradar after the collapse of the Doha process, last week’s hillside talks are the fruits of a rebooted Pak-Afghan relationship and months of prolonged shuttle diplomacy.