Afghan Taliban to hold direct talks with USA through Doha Political Office

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KABUL: Afghan Taliban have decided to hold talks with America directly instead of the Kabul government. The Afghan Taliban have also reactivated their office in Doha . Mullah Akhtar Mansoor has appointed Abbas Stankzai as the office in-charge, while Abdus Salam Hanfi its deputy. Moreover, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor has removed three members of the Markazi Shoora who had opposed him. The Qatar appointment is seen as Mullah Mansoor consolidating his hold over the group - and possible peace talks.He has overseen a string of battlefield victories since taking charge. Observers have long said that Pakistan's army maintains influence over the Taliban and other militant groups, although the military denies this. Correspondent said that Qatar office move could be linked to a visit by Pakistan's army chief to the US last week. There may have been back-door consultations with the Afghan government as well. The previous Taliban political head, Syed Tayyab Agha, quit in early August, criticising the way Mullah Mansoor had succeeded Mullah Omar. Reference: BBC News

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