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Taliban Demands Release of Anas Haqqani After Announcing New Negotiating Team

(Last Updated On: February 12, 2019)

Taliban has asked for the release of Anas Haqqani after announcing a 14-member negotiating team ahead of peace talks later this month with the U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Taliban said that their negotiating team is headed by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, a leading negotiator of the armed group.

The list also includes Anas Haqqani,  – the brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the Haqqani network – who is being held in Kabul.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that Haqqani “should be released to start work on the negotiating team.”

The Presidential Palace, however, said that no decision had been made yet regarding his release.

The rest members of Taliban’s negotiating team  include:  Mawlawi Zia-ur-Rahman Madani, Abdul Salam Hanafi, Shahabuddin Delawar, Mullah Abdul Latif Mansour, Mullah Abdul Manan Omari,  Mawlawi Amir Khan Mutaqi, Mullah Mohammad Fazel Mazlom, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa , Mawlawi Mati-ul-Haq, Mullah Noorullah Noori, Mawlawi Mohammad Nabi Omari  and Mullah Abdul Khaliq Wasiq.  

It comes as the U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is expected to hold another round of talks with the Taliban representatives in Qatar on February 25 as part of his fresh diplomatic efforts to reach into a political statement in Afghanistan.

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