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‘Taliban divided after reshuffle of negotiators’

AT News

KABUL: Some reports say Taliban militants in their Qatar-based political office have deep differences as the group is prepared to hold peace negotiations with the government of Afghanistan.

“There are some issues that Taliban need to be prepared for regarding the peace negotiations. Our information says that they are discussing these issues and we hope they finalize the issues soon,” said Najia Anwari, spokeswoman of the state ministry of peace.

The government says Taliban have no excuse to postpone peace talks after their last prisoner was released.

A source in the high council for national reconciliation said Sunday that Taliban negotiators are working to resolve their insider problems, so the peace talks are yet to begin.

Taliban brought some changes in the negotiating team. Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai who headed the team was replaced by Maulavi Abdul Hakim.

Sources in government say that differences have emerged in Taliban’s negotiating team after the changes. The changes were brought by Pakistani officials’ demands, according to the sources.

“There have been deep differences between Taliban leaders since the past few months,” said Rahmatullah Nabil, former intelligence chief.

A Taliban commander in the eastern zone also confirmed the differences, but called the differences in the people’s interest.

But Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban’s Spokesman, said that Mullah Baradar who heads the group’s political office in Qatar had brought the changes in the negotiating team.

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