The first United Nations-led meeting of diplomatic representatives for Afghanistan — including from the United States, China and Russia — together with the Taliban was held in Doha in May. The initiative showed the U.N.'s renewed focus on addressing the crisis in the Taliban-controlled country.

The representatives convened again in Qatar on Feb. 18 and 19, hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres — though in this occasion, the Taliban boycotted the meeting, primarily because a small group of Afghan civil society representatives were also invited.

This, in my eyes, reveals the Taliban’s deep-rooted insecurity, which stems from their lack of domestic legitimacy. The group has twice resorted to extreme violence to seize power and its members are so isolated as to largely shy away from engaging with other Afghans, especially women.