Pakistan warns Taliban for sidelining Islamabad from talks with Afghan govt

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Pakistan has asked the Taliban leaders to leave the country with their family members if they sidelined Islamabad from peace talks with the Afghan government, it has been reported.

Two senior Taliban leaders quoted in a report by VOA’s Afghanistan service have said that Pakistan have warned the group that Islamabad should not be sidelined from the talks.

According to the report, Islamabad is apparently worried of the recent secret talks between the Taliban group leaders and the Afghan government representatives.

The ultimatum was reportedly given after some senior Taliban leaders visited Pakistan to discuss with the Pakistani officials regarding the secret talks with the Afghan government.

The Taliban leaders who visited Pakistan were Maulvi Shahabuddin Dilawar, a former ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Jan Muhammad Madani, a former foreign minister under the Taliban regime in the 1990s, and Mullah Abdul Salam, a former deputy education minister.

A Taliban official earlier said the discussions being held in Pakistan follow successful contacts made with both Afghan and US officials in recent months.

“Taliban and the Americans have been engaged in a number of rounds of talks in Qatar,” he said. “They have made some progress, on a very zigzag path. God willing, we hope further talks will create progress.”

The Taliban delegation demanded the release of prisoners and removal of the group’s leaders from the UN blacklist during the informal talks held in Qatar earlier this month and in September.

The group also demanded that the Taliban group should be identified as a formal movement before they agree to participate in peace talks. -KP

The Pashtun Times

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