Within minutes of President Hamid Karzai addressing the 1,600 delegates at the peace jirga he called to deabte how best to negotiate with the Taliban, a rocket whistled in. More explosions followed. One of the rockets landed by a wall just a few hundred meters from the flimsy peace jirga tents. Gun battles erupted a few miles away in Kabul.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility; it appears to be their response to any talks of peace.
The Taliban aren't the only ones distancing themselves from the talks. Last year's Afghan presidential runner-up Abdullah Abdullah turned down his invitation, calling the jirga unrepresentative and more public relations than peace making.
Former Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, who has done time in Gitmo, says the real problem is the jirga has no power to address the Taliban's biggest grievance: "The occupation, the presence of Americans and their bases and their allies - this is the main problem. ... They are not talking abut the main problem ... how are they encouraging the Taliban."
Officials promise despite the Taliban attack, the jirga will go its full three days. But already many are wondering what difference it will make.