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Mullah Baradar yet to reach Qatar, says former Taliban official

AT News Report

KABUL: Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, co-founder of Taliban and one of senior officials of the group is yet to go to Qatar to take over the political office in Doha, says a former Taliban official.

Held in Pakistani custody for 10 years, Mullah Baradar was freed last year and Taliban spokesman subsequently said that he was appointed by the group’s leader as head of their political office based in Doha, to take over responsibility of talks with the US officials.

But, Sayed Akbar Agha, a former militants’ official who now runs a political body titled as ‘Council of Afghanistan Salvation’, said Sunday that as Mullah Baradar was in custody for several years, he needs time to take the office in Qatar.

“Mullah Baradar’s role over the peace was as effective as all Taliban military commanders accepted his decisions because everyone loves him. But I think the role of those who are involved in negotiations, is very crucial,” Agha said.

A list of negotiators recently published by the militants, was said to have been prepared by Mullah Baradar with consultation of the Taliban leader, Mullah Haybatullah Akhond.

The US envoy for Afghan peace, Zalmay Khalilzad has said Baradar was freed due to his demand.

Baradar is reported to have been a peace supporter with the Western media saying that his appointment as the head of political office caused a move in the negotiations with the US representatives.

But Pakistan is not happy with Baradar’s involvement in the peace talks, according to reports, because he is not in good relations with Islamabad and is opposing the visit of militants’ representatives to Pakistan who are planned to meet prime minister Imran Khan.

Taliban Spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed that Baradar had not gone to Qatar, but said he had started his work.

Wahid Mojda, a political analyst believes that peace talks would speed up when Baradar starts work as head of political office.

“If Mullah Baradar goes to Qatar and starts work, the talks will go on faster because sometimes, Taliban negotiators need to consult with their leaders over some critical subjects during the meetings. If Baradar is present in the talks, the negotiators will not have to take breaks for consultations,” Mojda said.

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