United States announcement of troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, in the last month of 2018, put national and international politics into chaos. Following this decision, it was evinced that half of the 14000 troops may be withdrawn from Afghanistan. Trump’s decision revealed a shift from “gunboat diplomacy” to a more beneficial mode. The next step followed by the US was the promulgation of a peace talk with Taliban, for which Trump asked Pakistan, UAE and Saudi-Arabia to facilitate a negotiation with Taliban. Subsequently, three successful sessions were held in UAE. The next session that was supposed to be held in Qatar was cancelled by Taliban, reportedly they wanted a withdrawal timeline and the release of prisoners. Despite the fact that the Afghan government was the main stakeholder, the Taliban still rejected their involvement in reconciliation and the future setup for ruling. This makes a bumpy road to the Afghanistan peace process. The next session that was supposed to be held in Qatar was cancelled by Taliban, reportedly they wanted a withdrawal timeline and the release of prisoners. Despite the fact that the Afghan government was the main stakeholder,the Taliban still rejected their involvement in reconciliation and the future setup for ruling According to a research carried out by BBC in January 2018, the Taliban were active in 70 percent of Afghanistan then or were in control of 14 districts. They could not, however, make any spectacular advancement after the drawdown of over 100,000 troops in 2014. The over 350,000 strong Afghan National Army, despite defections and heavy casualties, was able to restrain the Taliban from taking over any major city. There are three possibilities, which may have likely to occur. Firstly, from the start, Taliban wants a complete exit of the US from Afghanistan. Furthermore, the Taliban considered the Afghan government the US’s puppet and hence, they are not inclined to allow a government administration for future ruling. India also wishes to establish a relationship with Kabul, which is possible only in the absence of Taliban government. India is a strategic partner to the US and China is strategic partner to Pakistan. It is crucial to note that America focuses on China and India focuses on Pakistan. With this simple diplomatic arithmetic, if America does leave, then a civil war might start in the region which plausibly would invoke regional players to intervene. There will be “let them fight”, US policy to emerge in a trade war instead. Secondly, Taliban will form mainstream politics. If Taliban emerge as a political party in Afghanistan, then it is a favorable option but it still does not trace a peaceful path for an Afghanistan settlement. In this case, the political climate will be somewhat like Pakistan. It is hard to evince who won- Taliban or America? The Taliban want the country to be ruled under the laws of “Sharia” while the US does not favor such a form of government. US has been sitting in Afghanistan since a long time, and has made their ideological differences clear. So, Taliban as an Islamist political party, with the coexistence of other parties will again invite the US and Pakistan to interfere in Afghan national politics. However, workable relations may occur in the case among US and regional players. And the last option is the US’ complete exit. Published in Daily Times, February 3rd 2019.