Afghan Taliban refuse negotiations with government, wants direct talks with US
<link>ISLAMABAD - The Pakistani officials have said the Taliban group is not prepared to hold talks with the government as reports indicate that the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada has sent a delegation to Islamabad to explore ways for reviving peace talks.
Pakistani officials privy of the development have confirmed to Dawn News that a delegation of the Taliban including Shababuddin Dilawar and Malawi Rasool, came from Qatar to explore prospects of resuming talks.
However, they have said the Taliban remained unmoved. “They are sticking to their past stance. They want to negotiate with the US through the Qatar Office, but refused to negotiate with the Afghan government.”
The officials have also added that Islamabad has proposed to the Taliban delegation to hold direct talks with the Afghan government which has been turned down by the group.
This comes as sources privy of the development within the Taliban ranks had earlier told Reuters that supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada had approved Monday’s exploratory meeting in Islamabad on restarting talks to end the war that kills thousands of Afghans each year.
However, a Taliban group spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid had earlier rejected the participation of the group’s representatives in the unofficial talks that took place in Turkey.
“This is an intelligence game that aims at defaming and damaging the real peace process in Afghanistan,” he had said in a statement.
A Presidential spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi had also said that the individuals who have participated in the talks with the Taliban members in Turkey are not representing the government of Afghanistan.