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Taliban mull changes to peace committee as talks loom

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KABUL: Taliban leadership is considering changing its peace committee and forging a new team ahead of peace talks with the Afghan government scheduled for June 29th, a Pakistani newspaper said.

A senior militant official has said in condition of anonymity that Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhondzada’s appointing Mullah Yaqub as Taliban military commission chief is part of his attempt to consolidate his power before the intra-Afghan talks, Sputnik said quoting Pakistani media.

The Taliban official has said that the Taliban leadership is considering forming a new team to negotiate with Kabul government. He added that the team will be comprised of top members of the Taliban leadership and under direct supervision of its leader.

The team will also constituted of new members who are not under influence of any nation, he said, adding that the matter will be discussed in coming days in Taliban’s council meeting.

The report says that Amir Khan Mottaqi, Mawlawi Jan Mohammad Madani, Ziaur Rahman Madani and Sheikh Sayed Rasoul will be thrown out of the team. The Taliban has also sacked some officials of its Qatar office including Dr. Saleh, Munir Saadat and others.

The Pakistani paper has said that appointment of Mullah Yaqub as Taliban’s military commission chief was a step to stop ‘illegal contacts’ of Taliban senior leaders with Pakistani military brass.

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