Afghan Taliban leadershipAccording to reports 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.

Sources privy of the development have said the green signal was given by the senior leadership within the Taliban group after consultations between the Taliban representatives and Pakistani and Chinese officials.

“Pakistani officials had advised the Taliban leaders to sit face-to-face with the Afghan government and put their demands to find out a political solution to the problem,” a Taliban leader quoted by Pakistan’s The Express Tribune said.

Another Taliban leader has said 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.

The source further added that the delegation is expected to hold talks on how to explore ways for the proposed peace dialogue and the re-opening of the Taliban office in Qatar.

The Taliban leader whose identity was not disclosed has said that two senior Taliban representatives including Qari Din Mohammad and Abbas Stanikzai are among the delegation who will visit Pakistan.

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 Taliban sources said.

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.

This comes as President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said Saturday that he is optimistic regarding the peace talks with the Taliban militants group.

Ghani shared the optimisms regarding the Afghan peace process during a press conference with the US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter who arrived in Kabul to meet with the Afghan and US military officials.

He said Afghanistan is moving on the right track to achieve peace and stability in the country but did not disclose further information regarding any breakthrough in peace talks with the anti-government armed militant groups.


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