Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan says the United States is scheduled to meet on Monday (Dec 17) with the Afghan Taliban and that Islamabad has facilitated the dialogue at Washington’s request.
“The same U.S. that had been asking us to ‘do more’ is now asking Pakistan to facilitate its talks with the Afghan Taliban,” Imran Khan said as quoted by Pakistan Today.
“When I used to say this matter cannot be resolved without dialogue, [they] would term me ‘Taliban Khan’,” said the PM, revealing that Pakistan had arranged talks between the US and Afghan Taliban on Dec 17.
Khan made the remarks while addressing a ceremony to mark the 100-day ceremony of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
The Afghan government will not have any representative in the U.S.-Taliban talks in Pakistan; however, Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) told Ariana News that the Taliban are meeting the U.S. representatives to facilitate intra-Afghan dialogue.
“The Taliban meet Americans, but eventually, the Afghan government and Taliban delegations will kick off talks to reach on a peace agreement,” said Qazi Amin Weqad, a member of the HPC.
Sayed Akbar Agha, a former member of the Taliban, meanwhile, said that the United States asks Pakistan to put pressure on the Taliban to convince the armed group of allowing the U.S. to have base in Afghanistan while “Taliban is rejecting the issue.”
This comes as Kabul today hosted a trilateral meeting with China and Pakistan aimed at opening talks with the Taliban to end the 17 years of war in Afghanistan.