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Afghan peace talks: Taliban delegation arrives in Islamabad on three-day visit

  • The delegation is headed by Taliban’s deputy chief for political affairs Mullah Abdul Ghani Barader which will meet PM Imran and foreign minister
  • Both the Afghan administration and Taliban recently agreed on the rules of engagement to discuss the most substantive issues including the political road map and comprehensive ceasefire
Published December 16, 2020

(Karachi) A Taliban delegation arrived in Islamabad on a three-day visit to hold consultations on ongoing Afghan peace process, local media reported on Wednesday.

As per details, the delegation, headed by Taliban’s deputy chief for political affairs Mullah Abdul Ghani Barader, arrived at New Islamabad International Airport from Doha on flight QR-632.

The delegation was received by senior Pakistani officials and escorted under tight security. The group will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi during its trip.

The Taliban visit comes in wake of US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad's Pakistan visit on December 14.

During his trip, Khalilzad met Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss the Afghan peace efforts as the US voiced concerns over the 20-day break in negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban taking place in Doha.

The US envoy was accompanied by General Austin Scott Miller, Commander Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan.

Both the Afghan administration and Taliban recently agreed on the rules of engagement to discuss the most substantive issues including the political road map and comprehensive ceasefire.

However, Khalizad expressed concern in the break in talks, insisting the current situation required urgent progress on ceasefire and other issues.

"The two Afghan negotiating teams announced in Doha they will take 20 days off to consult on the agenda items," he said. "Tragically, the war continues. The need for a political settlement, reduction in violence, and a ceasefire remain urgent," he stressed.

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