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Ghani selects 11-member team for talks with Taliban

Ghani selects 11-member team for talks with Taliban

Nov 22, 2018 - 19:20

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani has tasked an 11-member delegation headed by his chief of staff Abdul Salam Rahimi for holding direct talks with the Talibaninfo-icon, sources told Pajhwok Afghan News on Thursday.

This comes as US Special Representative for Afghanistaninfo-icon Peace and Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad recently asked the Afghan government to constitute an authoritative delegation for decisive talks with the Taliban.

Headed by President Chief of Staff Abdul Salam Rahimi, the 11-member government delegation includes three womeninfo-icon.

Other members of the delegation are Acting Educationinfo-icon Minister Mirwais Balkhi, Acting Minister of Information and Cultural Affairs Haseena Safi, Deputy Higher Education Minister Abdul Tawab Balakarzai, Deputy Refugee and Repatriation Minister Dr. Alema, Deputy NDSinfo-icon Director Gen. Ebadullah Ebad, Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon Member Shahgul Rezaee, Ulemainfo-icon Council Head Attaullah Lodin, Paktia Govenror Shamim Katawazai, Supreme Court Member Dr. Abdullah Attai, Foreign Ministry Cultural Affairs head Toryali Ghiasi.

Paktia Governor Shamim Katawazai said he worked hard for peace and direct talks with the Taliban for the last three months and persuaded the US to enter direct negotiations with the Taliban and his these efforts might be the reason he was chosen in the government delegation.

He said so far he had not heard from a formal source about inclusion of his name in the list.

Another source in the Presidential Palace said Rahimi would lead the delegation in talks with the Taliban but names of other members were yet to be finalized.

Another source also claimed to have seen the list but added representatives of five major political forces were absent from the list.

Some individuals from certain political movements who are currently government members have been made part of the list, the source said.

He said unfortunately the delegation which the Afghan government wanted to appoint for talks with the Taliban lacked political knowledge and they were more technical persons.




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