Taliban has appointed Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as head of its political office in Qatar to strengthen its hand in peace talks with the United States as they try to reach a potential deal to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was released from a prison in Pakistan in October last year, has been authorized to lead the political team and take decisions, the Taliban said in a statement.
“This step has been taken to strengthen and properly handle the ongoing negotiations process with the United States,” the statement said.
The statement noted that with the appointment of Mullah Baradar, the Taliban negotiation team will continue their talks with the United States and “will not bring about any change.”
It comes as U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is already engaged in talks with the Taliban representatives in Qatar. The talks were originally due to run over two days, entered its fourth day on Thursday.
According to Taliban sources, the two sides have focused on two issues in the ongoing Qatar talks including establishing a mechanism for foreign troop pullout and a guarantee that Afghan territory would not be used for hostile acts against the United States and its allies.