The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is holding talks with Pakistani officials in Islamabad, the US Embassy confirmed on Wednesday.
“The visit would provide the opportunity to review the progress made under US-Taliban peace talks so far, and discuss the possibilities of resuming the paused political settlement process in Afghanistan,” said a statement issued by Pakistan’s foreign ministry.
It’s also been reported that a high-level Taliban delegation led by the group’s leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has also traveled to Islamabad on the invitation of the Pakistani government.
Recently, Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban political office in Doha, has posted a Taliban delegation visit to Islamabad, on his Twitter account.
“I think the visit by the Taliban delegation to Pakistan is a planned visit because they had said that their delegation will have trips to four countries. Khalilzad also coincidentally traveled to Pakistan. The Taliban delegation also visited Russia, China, and Iran and is now in Pakistan. They are visiting Pakistan to talk about the reason for the deadlocked talks,” a former Taliban commander, Sayed Akbar Agha said.
On September 8, US President Donald Trump called off US-Taliban talks following a Taliban bombing in Kabul that claimed the lives of 12 people, including an American soldier.
Then, on September 15, the Afghan government also announced a suspension of the peace talks.
“Even as the negotiations were ongoing, everybody agreed that it will not end the violence in our country. And if it doesn’t end the violence in our country, to the Afghans, that’s not peace. The reason we’re willing to accommodate the Taliban into governance…is because we want them to end the violence against our people,” Afghan National Security Advisor, Hamdullah Mohib said.
“We can’t call it peace negotiations. They are not going to be peace negotiations. If there is going to be a peace negotiation, it would be between the Afghan government that has been fighting the Taliban for the last two decades,” said Mohib.
“We have had one hundred and fifty thousand casualties in our security forces alone in the last, you know, two decades fighting the Taliban. They have killed, murdered in cold blood, thousands of Afghans, and the NSC has started publishing—the Afghan NSC just started publishing a series of individuals that we call the “thousands of crimes,” and the first of this book was published a couple of weeks ago which—it lists all the Afghan intellectuals that have been killed by the Taliban in the last two decades. And we will continue to release that,” added Mohib.
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