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Taliban announce 14-member team for next talks with US

Taliban announce 14-member team for next talks with US

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Feb 12, 2019 - 15:51

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Talibaninfo-icon on Tuesday announced a 14-member negotiating team for a latest round of talks this month with US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who resumed his Afghan peace diplomacy on Sunday.

Taliban’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement on Tuesday said that their talks with the US were ongoing and so far led well from their side.

Considering importance of the talks, he said, the new negotiating team had been chosen by the Taliban’s Qatar office deputy head Mullahinfo-icon Baradar Akhund as suggested by supreme leader Mullah HaibatullahAkhunzada.

Headed by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the team includes Anas Haqqani, the jailed younger brother of the Haqqani networkinfo-icon leader.

Nazar Mutmain, a political affairs expert, said the Taliban’s new negotiating team also included five former Guantanamo Bay prisoners among six leadership council members of the insurgents.

The Taliban’s team includes brother of Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid, the founder and long supreme leader of the movement. A nephew of Mualvi Nasrullah Mansoor, son of Mualvi Younis Khalis and son of Mualvi Jalaluddin Haqqni, the founder of the Haqqani network.

Mutmain believed the Taliban named a strong negotiating team to show they were committed to reaching a deal peace and to make relevant decisions in talks with US representatives to end the ongoing conflict.

Members of Taliban’s negotiating team

1: Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, who is heading the negotiating team, is also a member of the Taliban leadership council. He had served as deputy foreign minister and later deputy healthinfo-icon minister during the Taliban’s regime.

 2: Mualvi Ziaur Rahman Madani: Member of the group’s political commission and had served as governor of central Parwan and Logar provinces.

3: Mualvi Abdul Salam Hanafi: deputy of political office, leadership council’ member and had served as deputy minister of educationinfo-icon in the Taliban regime.

4: Sheikh Shahabuddin Delawar: Member of the political commission and had served as the Kandahar province court chief judge and Taliban’s ambassador to Pakistaninfo-icon and Saudi Arabia during their regime.

5: Mullah Abdul Latif Mansoor: leadership council’s member. After the US attack, he served as a member of the political commission and governor of southern Helmand province and later as agricultureinfo-icon’s minister.

6: Mullah Abdul Manan Omari: Bother of the former Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid. He is member of leadership’s council and member of commission on civilian causalities.

7: Mualvi Amir Khan Mutaqi: member of leadership council, chief of Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada’s administrative affairs. During the Taliban rule, he served as culture and information minister and later as education minister.

Five ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees

8: Mullah Mohammad Fazel Mazloom: he was released from Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for a captive US soldier in 2014. He had served as chief of army staff at the ministry of defense during the Taliban regime.

9: Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa: also released from Guantanamo Bay, he had served as interior minister during their regime.

11: Mullah Noorullah Noori, freed from Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba in 2014. He served as north zone maintenance chief and governor of northern Balkh province during the Taliban rule.

12: Mualvi Mohammad Nabi Omari, freed and exchanged from the Guantanamo’s prison, served as senior advisor and right hand cooperator of Mualvi Jalaluddin Haqqni at the Taliban regime.

13: Mullah Abdulhaq Wasiq, freed from Guantanamo Bay prison, served as deputy intelligence during the Taliban regime.

10:  Mualvi Matiulhaq, elder son of Mualvi Mohammad Younis Khalis.

14: Mullah Mohammad Anas Haqqani, son of Mualvi Jalaluddin Haqqni. He was captured by Americans in Bahrain and later handed over to the Afghan government and now he is languishing in jail in Kabul.

The Afghan government and the Taliban on Tuesday confirmed Anas Haqqni remained jailed.

Presidential spokesman Mohammad Haroon Chakahnsori said no decision had been made on Anas Haqqani’s release from jail.

According to him, the Afghan government has been committed to implementing the country’s laws and those who have committed crimes against the Afghanistaninfo-icon people, their fate would be decided under the applicable laws.

Taliban’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also confirmed Anas Haqqani was still in jail with the Afghan government.

He tweeted Anas was a university student and had committed no crime for which he should be jailed. He said Anas should be released to start working with the Taliban’s negotiating team.

The Taliban said the negotiating team would continue negotiations with the US based on their authority granted by the movement’s leadership.

Several meetings between the Taliban and the US have so far held in recent months.

pk/ma

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