taliban_2231360bA number of senior Taliban leaders have reportedly met in Islamabad the capital city of Pakistan to hold secret talks on Afghan peace process.

The secret meeting comes as recent reports suggested that the Afghan government is expected to initiate talks with the group within the next few days.

Sources privy of the development have said that the senior Taliban leaders left a blunt message from Pakistan insisting on an immediate end to a rift between the two top Taliban leaders or talks might ever get off the ground.

The Reuters news agency reported that the two senior Taliban figures in question are political leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, who favours negotiation, and battlefield commander Abdul Qayum Zakir, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, who opposes talks with Kabul.

Quoting unnamed Taliban sources, the newspaper reported that the two top Taliban leaders recently met to resolve their personal differences however Mansour was unable to persuade Zakir to reverse his opposition to direct talks with Kabul.

This comes as sources within the Taliban group said late last month that the Taliban group leadership has approved preliminary peace talks with the government of Afghanistan in a bid to find a solution to the ongoing violence in the country.

The sources further added that a delegation of the Taliban group leaders affiliated with the group’s political office in Qatar are due to visit Pakistan in the near future.

Two senior Taliban representatives including Qari Din Mohammad and Abbas Stanikzai were among the delegation who were due to visit Pakistan, the sources said, adding that Qari Din Mohammad who had led a team of negotiators in meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing in November recently visited Pakistan in connection with the proposed talks.

The sources also added that during his visit, Qari Din Mohammad also met Chinese diplomats for a “follow up discussions” as Beijing is playing a key in encouraging the Taliban to join the intra-Afghan dialogue.