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Murree talks had approval of Taliban’s leadership: Aziz

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL:  Sartaj Aziz, National Security and Foreign Policy Advisor to the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said that the representatives of the Taliban who talked to the Afghan government’s delegation in Murree, last week, had approval of the Central Leadership Council, Pakistani media reported.

While confirming a face-to-face meeting with influential Taliban leaders, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister, Khalil Hekmat Karzai, who led the high-level delegation to Pakistan for negotiations, said that Akhtar Mansoor, a Taliban’s acting chief and their Central Shura Council was among those Taliban representatives who he met in Pakistan.

On return from Pakistan he told newsmen in Kabul that he was confident of turning the Murree Peace Process into a formal dialogue process.

Reintegration of the Taliban into civil society could improve the process, Aziz said, however, he hoped for durable peace in Afghanistan.

“There are some elements who will try their best to sabotage the peace process. And also the opponents of peace could try to derail the process,” Aziz said.

He furthered that it was the first time that the Afghan government officials and the Taliban have come together under one roof and held talks. It was very productive, Aziz said while looking satisfied with the outcome of the Murree meeting.

“No Qatar-based member has taken part in the Murree talks,” spokesman for the Qatar office, Dr. Muhammad Naeem said.

“As the Taliban’s important leaders had attended the talks with the approval of the central council, the Qatar office will follow what the Taliban central leadership decides,” Aziz said.

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