Two senior members of Taliban’s political office in Qatar have made a visit to Islamabad ahead the resumption of face-to-face peace talks with Afghan government.
The delegation reportedly visited Islamabad on February 6, on the eve of third round of the quadrilateral talks for finalizing the three-step roadmap for restarting the halted process.
The two peace negotiators were Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikza, who heads the Qatar political office, and Qari Din Mohammad, who is another peace negotiator at Qatar office.
A source privy to the development has said that the Taliban peace negotiators brought with them a list of their representatives who are authorized to talk on the behalf of the group.
The direct talks are expected to be sometimes this month with efforts made by a four-nation committee formed by Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai from Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, Ambassador Richard G. Olson from the United States and Ambassador Deng Xijun from China.
The agreement to revive stalled peace talks with Taliban was reached during a meeting between President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif on the sideline of the “Heart of Asia” conference in Islamabad.
For bringing Afghan militant groups to the negotiation table, Islamabad wants Kabul to act against Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Mullah Fazlullah who is responsible for some deadly attacks in Pakistan.
Islamabad claims that Mullah Fazlullah is hiding in Afghanistan. -KP