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Taliban in Pakistan to consult ceasefire with leadership

AT News

KABUL: As the U.S. has pressurized the Taliban Qatar based political office to agree on a short-term ceasefire prior to the intra-Afghan-talks, some sources said that the group’s representatives have traveled to Islamabad to consulate the demand with their top leaders – who are settled in Pakistan. The sources say that the visit has been made during the interval of negotiation between US and Taliban officials in Doha.

A Pakistani journalist, Rahimullah Yousufzai said, “Taliban currently will not agree for ceasefire with Afghan government. They say that they will discuss truce in direct talks with the Afghans.”

Meanwhile, another journalist, Sami Yousufzaid said that Taliban would not consult any demand of the US diplomats. “Americans think and expect the Taliban to further consult with their top leaders but the Taliban say that they don’t need any consultation,” he added.   

Earlier, Taliban’s spokesman, Suhail Shaheen in a tweet has once again emphasized on withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, saying that ceasefire would be discussed in intra-Afghan-talks, which is going to be held after the peace deal with Washington.

But, Roland Kobia, Europe Union’s special envoy for Afghanistan in respond to the Taliban’s spokesman, said that the US-Taliban peace deal should involve ceasefire parallel to the intra-Afghan-talks.  

Moreover, Afghan government has called ceasefire a prior demand of the Kabul administration to engage in peace talks.

President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman, Durani Jawid Waziri said, “The issues of Taliban’s link with other militants group and location of the militants’ safe sanctuaries outside the country are the questions of the government and the people of Afghanistan.”  

Meanwhile some members of the parliament believe that U.S. and Taliban peace deal would take much longer time due to disagreement and militants’ stand regarding facilitation of intra-Afghan-talks.

“If the truce is not ensured with Afghans, the peace deal between U.S. and Taliban will be meaningless,” said Jawid Safi, a lawmaker.

This comes as US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad last week visited Afghanistan and briefed the Afghan officials about talks, related to Doha and Islamabad.

According to some sources, after a two day trip, the US envoy has left Kabul for Qatar to continue the remaining issues with the Taliban representatives.

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