Senior Taliban leaders pay clandestine trip to Islamabad
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, head of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, and Qari Din Muhammad travelled to Islamabad the day the Quadrilateral Coordination Group held its third meeting in Pakistan.
Senior officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States held talks in Islamabad to finalise the roadmap to the Afghan reconciliation dialogue on February 6.
The Taliban leaders held informal discussions with senior officials from the four countries and shared a list of their representatives for formal talks with the Afghan government, a Pakistani newspaper reported.
“They also discussed confidence-building measures for creating an environment conducive to the resumption of talks,” The Express Tribune quoted unnamed sources as saying.
In July last year, when first-ever direct talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government took place in Pakistan, the Taliban’s political office in Qatar had stayed away from the process.
Syed Tayyeb Agha, former head of Taliban’s political office, was opposed to Pakistan-brokered talks. But Agha resigned after Mullah Akhtar Mansoor took over as Taliban’s supreme leader.
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