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Pakistan’s arrest of top Taliban, a hoax: Sources

AT News Report-KABUL: Sources in the government have denied claims about a purported detention of Taliban leaders in Pakistan, saying that no Taliban chieftain has thus far been arrested there.

Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, ambassador to Islamabad in Taliban’s government, had earlier claimed that some Taliban leaders have been arrested in Pakistan.

However, a senior government official, who did not want to be named, called it a propaganda fabricated by Pakistan to reduce international pressures. “It is just not true,” he said.

Meanwhile, AsefSeddiqi, deputy head of senate said that if Taliban’s detention in Pakistan was true, it means that Islamabad was not cooperating with the Afghan peace process.

“If the report is true, it is a hundred per cent against the Afghan-led peace process. Taliban should learn that they would have their former colleagues’ fate,” Seddiqi said.

Zaeef has said that Taliban were under unprecedented pressure by Pakistan, but the militants would not surrender it.

Taliban insurgents are yet to respond President Ghani’s request over unconditional talks for peace.

A number of Taliban officials were killed or arrested in Pakistan. They were reportedly willing to the peace talks.

“Pakistan never allows Taliban to hold talks with the government of Afghanistan unless the ISI approves,” said Wadir Safi, a Kabul University lecturer, who added that the new detention would undermine the peace program and would discourage those militants who want to join the process.

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