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Taliban co-founder in Pakistan as USA envoy visits

Taliban co-founder in Pakistan as USA envoy visits”

The Taliban had spent days concentrating attacks across the country before last week's Afghan presidential election, in an effort to derail the electoral process and keep voters from the polls.

"Until there is no agreement with the USA we will continue the attacks on United States troops, and we do not talk to the Kabul administration under the government's title and we have denied such talks before", he said.

In 2018, Baradar was released from jail to facilitate peace talks after Khalilzad was appointed USA peace envoy.

Video released by Pakistan's foreign ministry showed Taliban leaders embracing Pakistani foreign ministry officials as they arrived in Islamabad for meetings.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, in his weekly presser on Friday, said, "All sections of the Afghan government, including legitimately-elected government, should be part of the peace process".

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, would not confirm or deny that Taliban had met Khalilzad, adding that the Taliban delegation was still in Islamabad for meetings on Friday. USA special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad also met Pakistani officials in an effort to review the Afghan peace process.

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Sources said Taliban delegation will continue meetings also on Saturday.

The Taliban is ready to stand by a tentative agreement struck in Doha before Trump cancelled the talks, according to Pakistan's foreign minister and sources from the militant group, who said the insurgents were eager to resume negotiations.

Throughout the previous year, Khalilzad held nine rounds of discussions with the Taliban from the Middle Eastern State of Qatar, in which the insurgents keep a political division. Aside from the high-powered Taliban team, Zalmay Khalilzad, America's point man for Afghanistan, was also in the federal capital at the same time. When there's absolutely no obvious victor with 51 percent of the vote, then another round will be held in fourteen days of the last vote statement. As the negotiations were nearing the climax, President Trump called off the talks, slamming the Taliban for renewed violence. In doing so, he backhandedly rebuked Pakistan's decision to host the Taliban.

The Afghan Taliban's 12-member delegation - led by the group's co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar - called on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and exchanged views on peace and stability in the South Asian region and bilateral relations in their meeting.

Ahmadi, however, welcomed the meeting.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with the US Special Envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad last week on the sidelines of United Nations General assembly (UNGA) in NY, the first meet since US President Donald Trump cancelled talks with Taliban.



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