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Taliban rejects participation in direct talks with Afghan govt

AT-KABUL: Stressing on withdrawal of the foreign troops from Afghanistan, exchange of prisoners and removal of its leaders names from the UN blacklist, the Taliban said that it would not participate in the direct talks with Afghan government unless the conditions were met.

In a media statement issued here, the militant group said that the US was reviewing troop levels to deploy more soldiers in Afghanistan and carrying out airstrikes in different parts of the country, but kept the Taliban uninformed about meetings of the quadrilateral consultative group, comprising of Afghanistan, China, the United States and Pakistan.

“On the one hand America is deploying fresh troops to Afghanistan, is carrying out airstrikes in various areas and partaking in night raids and on the other the Kabul administration has expanded operations in multiple provinces, displaced thousands of families from their homes in this cold winter and at the same time intensified propaganda about negotiations and Quadrilateral Coordination Group meetings. These two conflicting activities have begun as the Political Office of Islamic Emirate has not been kept informed about negotiations and neither have the requests of known Afghan personalities been paid any heed,” the statement said.

The group said that Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansoor has not established any committee to engage in talks with the government.

“At the same time rumors are being circulated that delegates of Islamic Emirate [Taliban] will be participating in the upcoming meetings with the permission of Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansoor. We reject all such rumors and unequivocally state that the leader of Islamic Emirate has not authorized anyone to participate in this meeting and neither has the Leadership Council of Islamic Emirate decided to partake in it,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the Taliban would not become part of the four-nation supported peace drive unless their conditions were met. The militant group said that it had already made its stance clear in this regard during the Pugwash conference.

The group said that Taliban would take part in direct negotiations after all foreign troops left the country, the blacklists were eliminated and the Taliban prisoners were freed.

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