A six-member delegation of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar led by deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has travelled to Pakistan to hold talks with Pakistani officials on Afghan peace, a spokesman of the group, Suhail Shaheen said.
Other members of the delegation are Khairullah Khairkhwah, Mohammad Nabi Omari, Shahabuddin Delawar, Abdul Latif Mansour and Qari din Mohammad.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi said the Taliban was invited by Islamabad for consultations on the peace process in Afghanistan.
“You remember that last time ahead of the Doha agreement, the Taliban came to our Foreign Ministry and we held a long and constructive meeting. You saw that after that, the Taliban came to the negotiations table,” Qureshi told reporters on Monday. “It was not an easy task.”
Qureshi said the next step after the agreement should be the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations if the goal is to reach stability and reconciliation.
Taliban spokesman Shaheen said the peace process and the Afghan refugees’ issues in Pakistan, as well as creating facilities for trade relations between the two countries will be the topics of the delegation’s meeting with Pakistani officials.
The Associated Press reported on Monday that the Taliban chief has finalized a negotiating team that is to have decision-making powers in upcoming intra-Afghan negotiations, a top Taliban negotiator told The Associated Press.
Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada hand-picked the 20-member team, 13 of whom comprise about half of the Taliban's leadership council, lead Taliban negotiator Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said as quoted by AP.