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Peace talks will enter new phase if Mullah Mansoor authorized: HPC

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Following reports that said Mullah Omar has given the authority to his deputy Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor to make decisions on his behalf; officials in the High Peace Council (HPC) said Monday that the peace talks will step into a new phase if this happened, because Mullah Mansoor can play vital role in the process.

Radio Azadi quoted the deputy chief of HPC, Abdul Hakim Mujahid, as saying that Mullah Mansoor is a reliable and trustworthy figure for Mullah Omar and his participation in the peace talks will prove effective.

He said that if the reports are true then it seems that the Taliban is in favor of a political way for overcoming Afghanistan’s crisis.

The Washington-based NBC News recently reported that Mullah Omar has given his old friend and deputy, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor the authority to make decisions on his behalf.

Office of Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has it has not been discussed yet to select government representatives and the Taliban’s envoys for the peace talks.

The CEO office also said that influential and highly authorized individuals will participate in the peace dialogues.

The Taliban militants have not commented regarding the report, but the militant group in an unprecedented attempt uploaded the biography of Mullah Omar on their website to celebrate his 19th year as leader of the militant group.

Critics say that Mullah Omar’s biography was uploaded on Taliban’s website as most of their commanders believed that their leader is no more alive.

Radio Azadi quoted Sayid Akbar Agha, Taliban’s former member, as saying that Mullah Omar and Mullah Mansoor’s role will be effective in the peace process.

He said Mullah Mansoor is Taliban’s No. 2 and carries on all Taliban’s activities—including subversive activities. “No doubt, he [Mullah Mansoor] has full authority. He can make decisions on behalf of his friends. He is able conduct the negotiations,” he said.

Reports suggest that the first stage of the peace talks between chairman of the HPC secretariat Mohammad Masum Stanikzai and the Taliban’s representative will be held this week.

Sources in the government said on condition of anonymity that direct peace talks with the Taliban will kick off at the end of this month. However, the remarks have not been officially approved by the government so far.

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