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Afghan Peace Process: Taliban Leader Mullah Brother and Zalme Khalilzad Visit Pakistan

A spokesman for the Afghan Taliban's political office in Qatar says a key delegation of Taliban, Afghan Peace Process: Taliban Leader Mullah Brother and Zalma Khalilzad Visit Pakistan

                                                                                                                             copyright Getty Image

Headed by former warlord leader and now head of the political office is arriving in Islamabad on Wednesday where he will meet with top Pakistani officials.

Speaking to the BBC, Sohail Shaheen said the delegation consisted of senior members of the Taliban negotiating team and included 11 representatives, including Mullah Brother.
The visit of Taliban negotiators to Pakistan is at a time when Zalmay Khalilzad, the Special Representative of the US President to Afghanistan, is already in Pakistan.
Zalmay Khalilzad met Prime Minister Imran Khan in the recent visit to the United States, but it is unclear whether he will meet Taliban leaders in Pakistan.
If this is the meeting, this will be the first meeting of the US delegation with the Taliban delegation on Pakistani soil.
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Pakistan's Foreign Office has not yet released a statement regarding the Taliban's delegation's visit or Zalmay Khalilzad's meeting with Pakistani officials.

With whom did the Taliban meet?

Although the Taliban had earlier said that they would meet Prime Minister Imran Khan in Pakistan, spokesman Sohail Shaheen said that the delegation would only meet top officials of the Pakistani Foreign Office during the visit.
He said that "so far the Foreign Office has met with the top officials, the rest of the political office chief Mullah Baradar will be there and he has the authority to meet whom."
Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his visit to the United States in July this year, said he would meet with Taliban leaders on their return and ask them to hold talks with the Afghan government.
In response, Taliban spokesman Sohail Shaheen had told the BBC that if Prime Minister Imran Khan invited him, he would visit Pakistan and also meet the Pakistani prime minister.

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This is not the first time that any Taliban delegation has spoken of Pakistan's arrival in connection with the Afghan peace process.
In February this year, Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a media statement that a delegation from his political office would visit Pakistan on February 18, but later the Taliban had called him to the United Nations. Prevented him from going to Pakistan.
In this regard, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said at the time that he postponed meeting with Taliban leaders on concerns of the Afghan government.

Afghan Peace Talks

This is the fourth foreign delegation's visit to Afghanistan after the Taliban delegation's talks with the United States regarding the ceasefire and US withdrawal in Afghanistan. He has previously visited Russia, China and Iran.
Earlier in September this year, US President Trump announced a ceasefire with the Taliban in a message on Twitter.
Talks between the US and the Taliban delegation continued for about 11 months before that, and a week before the announcement of the US president, the delegation agreed to the draft, but President Trump ended the talks.


Mullah Brother, who has been in prison for eight years in Pakistan

Mullah Baradar, the head of the Taliban's political office, is visiting Pakistan for the first time after serving eight years in Pakistan and then being released.
Regarding the release of Mullah Baradar, Prime Minister Imran Khan recently said at a ceremony in Torkham that "we have brought the Taliban to Qatar and were asked to hold talks with the United States."
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the head of the Afghan Taliban's political office, was arrested during an operation in Karachi in Pakistan in 2010 and released on October 2018, eight years later.
According to some sources, Pakistan had released Mullah Baradar on US request so that he could play a role in the talks.
51-year-old Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was a close associate of Taliban founder Mullah Omar and his second in command.
In a short documentary by Al Jazeera journalist Carlotta Bales, former Afghan president Hamid Karzai said Mullah Baradar and several Taliban leaders were ready to negotiate with the Afghan government in 2010.
However, according to him the US and Pakistan were not in favour of negotiations and they arrested Mullah Brother. According to the former Afghan president, he had also protested the arrest of Mullah Brother.

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