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US-Taliban Representatives Hold Secret Talks in Islamabad

(Last Updated On: October 5, 2019)

The U.S. and Taliban negotiation teams have held secret talks in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.

A six-member American delegation has met with the Taliban’s 12-member delegation during their visit to Pakistan on October 2.

According to sources informed of the Afghan peace talks, the U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and the top commander of NATO and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan General Scott Miller were also present at the pre-scheduled meeting.

Apparently, the meeting was scheduled at the sideline of the UN General Assembly in New York where the U.S. chief negotiator Ambassador Khalilzad met with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The two sides have discussed the Afghan presidential election which took place on September 28 and the formation of an interim government after the announcement of the election results, sources close to the Taliban insurgent group told Ariana News.

“Ambassador Khalilzad wanted to know the position of Taliban if Afghanistan fails to have an elected government and forms an interim government,” said Waheed Muzhda, a pro-Taliban political commentator.

However, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister on Political Affairs Edris Zaman said on Saturday that the U.S.-Taliban meeting focused on the release of two American prisoners.

“The ongoing talks in Islamabad is focused on two U.S. hostages with Taliban. The talks is held between hostage takers which is Taliban and the government of the United States and is mediated by Pakistan,” Mr. Zaman said.

Minawar Shah Bahaduri, an Afghan lawmaker believes that the result of the Afghan presidential election will lead the country into a crisis and Washington will raise question on its legitimacy; therefore, the U.S. is paving the ground for the formation of an interim government in the country.

“An interim government will be formed in order to put pressures on the government and the Taliban to accept peace and at the same time to have its permanent presence in Afghanistan,” Mr. Bahaduri said.

Both the U.S. and the Taliban group have not made a comment about the report yet.

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