Afghan delegation in Pakistan for dialogues with Taliban


ISLAMABAD: A delegation of Afghan officials has travelled to Islamabad in the latest bid to start peace talks with the Taliban, officials said Tuesday.


Pakistan is playing a pivotal role in facilitating the peace dialogue between the two sides. Official sources said that representatives of the Afghan government and Afghan Taliban members were taking part in the talks aimed at ending the 13-year insurgency in the neighbouring country.

The Afghan presidential office also confirmed the departure of the peace delegation.

“A delegation from the High Peace Council of Afghanistan has traveled to Pakistan for negotiations with the Taliban,” read a statement posted on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s official Twitter account.

The High Peace Council (HPC) is the body tasked with opening negotiations with the militants.

Sayed Zafar Hashemi, Ghani’s deputy spokesman, confirmed the announcement and said the delegation was being led by deputy foreign minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai.

Hashemi gave no details of the expected length of talks, the subjects to be discussed or Taliban participation.

In recent months there have been several informal meetings between the Taliban and Afghan officials from varied political backgrounds at venues outside Afghanistan, but little concrete progress appears to have been made.