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Sticking to their guns, Taliban say no talks with Kabul

Sticking to their guns, Taliban say no talks with Kabul

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Jan 18, 2018 - 10:08

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The Talibaninfo-icon, sticking to their stance, remain unwilling to resume long-stalled peace negotiations with the Ashraf Ghani administration, a media report said on Thursday.

Earlier in the week, a three-member delegation from Taliban’s political office in Qatar arrived in Islamabad, in an ostensible move to explore the possibility of restarting peace parleys with the Afghan government.

Led by Shahabuddin Dilawar, the visit of Taliban representatives is said to be part of Pakistaninfo-icon’s efforts to encourage the insurgent movement to join the reconciliation process.

“They are sticking to their past stance. They want to negotiate with the US through the Qatar Office, but refused to negotiate with the Afghan government,” Dawn reported, citing unnamed sources.

Though Pakistan prodded the Taliban to resume talks with the Afghan government, yet it avoided engaging with the militant movement. Islamabad’s position is largely driven by the current state of frayed ties with Washington

The presence of Afghan Taliban and Haqqani networkinfo-icon leaders in Pakistan has been a constant irritant in Washington-Islamabad relations, which hit a new low after the Trump administration suspended security aid to the ally.

The Taliban negotiators visited Islamabad weeks after senior insurgent leader Mullahinfo-icon Muhammad Abbas traveled to Qatar and conveyed Pakistan’s message to the Qatar-based envoys to join intra-Afghan dialogue.

The visit came hard on the heels of another back-channel meeting in Turkey between Taliban and representatives of the Gulbadin Hekmatyar-led Hezb-i-Islamiinfo-icon.

Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, Taliban’s supreme leader, is said to have given his seal of approval to Monday's meeting in the Pakistan capital.

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