Afghan President Hamid Karzai has started peace talks with his country’s second largest militant group. The meeting comes as Hezb-e-Islam, which was once united with the Taliban against the central government, has begun to clash with its former allies over territory in northern Afghanistan. A tentative peace deal was tabled by the militant delegation, which is headed by former Afghan Prime Minister Qutbuddin Helal, that includes demands for new elections, a new constitution, and a pull-out of all foreign troops by summertime. Karzai has yet to respond to the offer, and it’s believed that any resolution is far off. However, the government and the UN have also been
quietly conducting peace talks with the Taliban over the past year and experts say negotiating with militant groups is an essential step toward achieving peace in the war-torn nation.