Taliban, US envoy in Pak to review broken peace talks
Islamabad, October 2
Afghan Taliban officials were due in Pakistan on Wednesday, the insurgent group said, even as the top US diplomat involved in talks with the militants also met government officials there.
It was however not known if the Taliban and the US official would meet.
The Taliban delegation will be led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, to discuss “important issues” with Pakistani officials in the Capital, Islamabad, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said on Twitter.
Baradar, one of the group’s founders, was making his first known visit to Pakistan since he was released a year ago from a Pakistani jail. He later assumed the role of the Taliban’s chief negotiator with the United States on a withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. Baradar, who previously coordinated the group’s military operations in southern Afghanistan, was arrested in 2010 by a team from Pakistani and the US intelligence agencies.
The Taliban visit comes after efforts by the militants and the United States to reach a deal allowing for the withdrawal of US-led foreign forces that broke down last month.
The top US negotiator in the talks, special representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, met Pakistani counterparts in Islamabad this week, following discussions between US.
“These consultations follow discussions held between the United States and Pakistan during the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week,” said a spokesman for the US Embassy in Islamabad via email. The US has long considered Pakistani cooperation as crucial to efforts to end war in Afghanistan.