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Pressure growing on Taliban to join peace talks, ex-top Taliban leader

motasimKABUL: A former top Taliban leader has said the group is under pressure to revive peace talks with the Afghan government months after the group rejected calls by the Afghan government to participate in direct peace talks.

Agha Jan Motasim has told the New York Times that the main motives behind growing demand to revive peace talks are latest mounting pressures and changes in the situation of the country.

Motasim was the finance minister in the Taliban regime and a close aide former Taliban leader supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

He said the Taliban leaders have agreed to revive peace talks during a meeting in Quetta city, the provincial capital of Baluchistan province of Pakistan.

According to Motasim, the feasibility of peace talks revival is high and some Taliban leaders have asked him to mediate for the launch of peace negotiations.

The Taliban group rejected to participate in direct peace talks with the Afghan government earlier this year and opted to continue to its insurgency by launching their spring offensive in mid-April.

A Quadrilateral Coordination Group consisting representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States was formed earlier this year to help revive the Afghan peace talks.

However the attempts by the QCG group did not yield any positive result following coordinated attacks launched by the Taliban in the country, including capital Kabul which forced the Afghan government to give up efforts for peace negotiations. -KP


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