By Jessica Donati and Habib Khan Totakhil, January 10, 2016, published in the Wall Street Journal

Afghan army soldiers take part in a military operation in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Wednesday. PHOTO: ZUMA PRESS

Afghan army soldiers take part in a military operation in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Wednesday. PHOTO: ZUMA PRESS

KABUL—Delegates from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the U.S. and China will meet Monday in an effort to revive the Afghan peace process after talks collapsed in July last year, and bring an end to the government’s long-running war with the Taliban.

The U.S. in recent months has been pushing the Afghan and Pakistani governments to renew efforts to restart the peace process, which broke down amid disagreements on who would assume the leadership of the Taliban.

On top of the agenda for Monday’s talks in Islamabad is Kabul’s proposal to identify influential Taliban representatives that could be approached for talks and commit to fighting others, according to Afghan and Pakistan officials that will attend the one-day meeting. Taliban representatives aren’t expected to attend and have declined to comment on the meeting.

Afghan delegates said their focus is to get all four countries to agree on a road map based on Kabul’s plan.

“The talks in Islamabad are not peace talks,” said Javid Faisal, a spokesman for the Afghan government. “These are talks for talks.”

Despite having gained swaths of Afghan territory since U.S. and allied troops withdrew in 2014, the Taliban has splintered after its leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, was revealed in July to have been dead for more than two years. Some influential commanders have refused to pledge support to his successor, Mullah Mohammad Mansour.

The group has recently stepped up attacks in Kabul, including a blast on Monday that left many injured and flattened buildings in several compounds used by U.S. civilian contractors and United Nations staff. Last month, Taliban militants attempted to storm a Spanish Embassy compound here, killing a Spanish security official and wounding 10 other people.

The high-profile attacks have cast doubts on whether government efforts to revive peace talks would yield results. Some Western and Afghan officials, however, say the spate of violence could be an attempt by the Taliban to increase their leverage ahead of possible peace talks.

The Taliban this week said it was open to engaging with “world countries” to establish “good and lawful relations.”

Some observers fear the divisions within the Taliban will present obstacles to peace, but some Afghan officials say the discord can be exploited.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is hoping Monday’s meeting will lay out each party’s role in the peace effort.

“This will help Afghanistan and our partners to measure the tangibility and sincerity of the efforts taken,” said Sayed Zafar Hashemi, a spokesman for the Afghan president.

Some delegates say Afghanistan and Pakistan could struggle to agree on a single strategy against the insurgency, as trust between the two countries remains low.

Kabul has for long accused Islamabad of supporting the Afghan Taliban, an allegation that Pakistan has denied, although it concedes it has some influence over the group. Islamabad in turn has alleged that Kabul covertly supports militant groups active on its soil, which has been denied by Afghanistan.

There may also be sticking points for the U.S. if the plan includes groups such as the Haqqani network, a Taliban faction that Washington considers a terror group.

“Peace and security in Afghanistan will be discussed, including all relevant issues relating to the resumption of dialogue and the peace and reconciliation process,” said a senior official at Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry. “At this meeting, representatives will decide the way forward.”

China, a close ally of Pakistan with billions of dollars worth of planned investment in the country, has also moved toward the role of mediator. Beijing has long worried that insecurity in the region may worsen unrest in its Muslim-majority northwest and has been engaged in efforts to forge peace since 2014, meeting with U.S., Pakistani and Afghan officials as well as Taliban representatives.