Kabul, Oct 2 : A high-level Taliban delegation is due to visit Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, on Wednesday as part of its tour that includes Russia, China and Iran after the group's peace talks with the United States broke off last month, a Taliban spokesman said.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan urged Washington last week to restart talks with the Taliban, which ceased abruptly in the wake of a deadly explosion in Kabul that had killed a US serviceman. Khan has also noted that Pakistan supported the US-Taliban dialogue. "A high-level Taliban delegation, led by Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, will visit Islamabad on Wednesday," Suhail Shaheen, the official spokesman of the Taliban's political office in Qatar, tweeted.
According to the spokesman, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's chief negotiator and head of the movement's Qatar headquarters, will discuss "important issues" with Pakistani officials. On Monday, Moscow announced that it was making efforts to host a Russia-China-US meeting on Afghan peace in October.
For nearly a year, the United States and the Taliban had been attempting to negotiate a peace deal that would ensure the withdrawal of foreign troops in exchange for the movement's guarantee that the country would not become a safe haven for terrorists.
The talks, however, excluded the Afghan government, which the Taliban consider a US puppet. According to US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington and the Taliban were "at the threshold of an agreement" a week before their talks collapsed on September 7. (UNI)