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Taliban rejects participation in direct talks with Afghan government

TalibanTALIBAN: The Taliban militants group in Afghanistan rejected to sit-in for direct peace talks with the Afghan government in the framework of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG).

According to a statement released by the group, the decision to refrain from direct negotiations was taken due to deployment of troops by US to Afghanistan, ongoing airstrikes, and expansion of military operations by Afghan government amid ongoing efforts to revive peace talks, which the group called a propaganda.

The statement by Taliban also added that the group has not been in the loop since the start of the negotiations, apparently gesturing towards the QCG meetings, saying “the Political Office of Islamic Emirate has not been kept informed about negotiations from the onset and neither have the requests of known Afghan personalities been paid any heed.”

“At the same time rumors are being circulated that delegates of Islamic Emirate will be participating in the upcoming meetings with the permission of the esteemed Amir ul Mumineen, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansoor,” the statement added.

The group once reiterated on its pre-conditions to sit-in for peace talks, saying ” unless the occupation of Afghanistan is ended, black lists eliminated and innocent prisoners freed, such futile misleading negotiations will not bear any results.”

This comes as the Afghan government was expecting to meet the Taliban representatives during a direct face to face meeting to discuss the peace process in the first week of March.

Pakistan had offered to host the first round of direct talks between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives following the conclusion of the fourth round of Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) meeting late last month. -KP

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