Taliban confirm visit, rule out Beijing’s mediation
Last month, media reported that a two-member delegation of Afghan Taliban had visited China, where they held extensive negotiations with Chinese officials.
Qari Din Muhammad, a Taliban member in Doha, visited China in November. The delegation discussed issues pertaining to Afghanistan and the latest political situation in the region.
However, no specific details are available about the negotiations but the Taliban may have started thinking about China’s role in ensuring peace in the war-torn country.
In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said: “We are in contact s with the global community, specifically neighbouring countries. We are in touch with other states as well.”
China, he said, was among the neighbouring countries and Taliban would maintain contact with them for a negotiated settlement of the dispute.
“We are in favour of peace talks and our delegations have travelled to other countries also to ensure peace in the country. However, reports that we have asked China to play a mediator’s role are baseless and concocted,” he added.
The visit of the Taliban delegation came shortly after President Ashraf Ghani paid a four-day official trip to that country. The president, while addressing the ‘Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference’ in Beijing, termed China as the key country which could help restore peace in Afghanistan.
Similarly, the Chinese ambassador to Kabul, during a meeting with Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah, also hinted at using its influence with Pakistan to promote the peace process.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.