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Taliban leader Baradar in Pakistan for Afghan peace push

Kabul expects Islamabad to sincerely cooperate in the Afghan peace quest

By Mujeeb R. Awrang

KABUL: A six-member Taliban delegation, led by Head of Taliban Qatar Based Political Office, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has landed in Pakistan on Monday days after the country placed sanctions on the top leadership of the group.

The visit was made two days after the Pakistani foreign ministry in a statement announced financial and travel ban sanctions on senior Taliban members, including Baradar and the family of Haqqani terrorist network.

The Taliban spokesman in Doha, Suhail Shaheen in a twitter message said that the delegation was invited by the Pakistani foreign ministry to discuss issues such as Afghan peace process, commercial ties and issues related to the Afghan refugees living in Pakistan.

“The Islamic Emirate as per its political policy pays visits to regional and world’s countries from time to time for furthering positive relations and conveying its views and stance to the world about the peace process. These visits were postponed due to the spread of COVID-19 but the series has been resumed now,” he tweeted.

According to him, the Taliban delegation would embark traveling to other countries in the near future.

Kabul expects Islamabad to sincerely cooperate with the Afghan peace process, a spokesman for the ministry of state for peace affairs, Najia Anwari told Afghanistan Times.

“The expectation of the people of Afghanistan from Pakistan is that the decisions it (Pakistan) takes and issues that it is working on, will be in the benefit of the Afghan peace process,” she said, “because peace in Afghanistan poses stability and welfare in the region.”

Anwari said that Pakistan could play an influential role in the peace process because the Taliban leaderships have been living there for several recent years.

The Pakistani foreign ministry on Saturday in a statement said that it would implement the 2,255 code resolution of the UN Security Council on the Taliban. Based on this resolution the assets, weapons and ammunition of the Taliban leaders would be also sanctioned.

Pakistan was placed in a grey list last year for providing financial support to the terrorist groups and paving safe havens for them in its soil. 

Experts believe that imposing sanctions would not affect the ties between Taliban and Pakistani government and that Islamabad took these steps due to fears of possible inclusion in the black list by the FATF. 

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