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Afghan Taliban delegation to arrive in Islamabad today

  • The Afghan Taliban delegation will meet FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi and PM Imran Khan.
  • cMullah Baradar and his team’s last visit to Pakistan  was in August to discuss the Afghan peace process.

ISLAMABAD: A delegation of the Taliban Political Commission (TPC), headed by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, will  arrive in Islamabad today on a three-day trip, announced the Foreign Office on Wednesday.

The FO statement said that the Baradar and his delegation will be in Pakistan from December 16-18, and are scheduled to meet  Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“The visit of Taliban Political Commission delegation is part of Pakistan’s policy to reach out to key Afghan parties in the Afghan peace process with a view to facilitating the Intra-Afghan Negotiations, that commenced in Doha on 12 September 2020,” said the FO.

The FO maintained that Pakistan will keep supporting  an “inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement for durable peace, stability, and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region”.

Last time  Baradar and his team had visited Pakistan was in August to discuss the Afghan peace process.

‘Significant milestone in peace process reached’

The visit comes days after US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad announced that the Afghanistan peace process has reached a “significant milestone”, with the two sides agreeing on the rules and procedures for a comprehensive ceasefire and political roadmap.

Khalilzad had said on Twitter that the two sides had recognised a three-page agreement that codifies rules and procedures for negotiations on a political roadmap and a “comprehensive ceasefire”.

In this regard, Pakistan had welcomed the announcement of the agreement, saying it reflected “a common resolve of parties to secure a negotiated settlement”.

“It is an [important] development contributing towards a successful outcome of Intra-Afghan Negotiations,” a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said on Twitter.

Afghans ‘must be the masters of their destiny’

Pakistan has been instrumental in persuading the Afghanistan government and the Taliban to discuss options for peace. The move by Islamabad aims to put an end to the conflict that has been raging for the past 19 years in Afghanistan now.

However, Islamabad has time and again warned the world against spoilers in the peace process, saying that New Delhi was against peace and stability in the war-torn country.

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