Senior Afghan politician says Taliban leadership not in Pakistan

Published: January 9, 2018
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PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

A senior Afghan politician has said that the Taliban leadership is based in Afghanistan and that the group is willing to negotiate peace.

The statement of Hamid Gailani, the chairman of Mahaz-e-Milli party, which is contrary to the official Afghan narrative, drew a strong rebuke from the country’s top spy agency.

According to Tolo News, Gailani has said that most Taliban leaders are in Afghanistan and that they also want to negotiate with other countries involved.

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“I, along with religious scholars, will soon form a delegation to engage the Taliban leaders in talks,” he told a gathering of clerics in Kabul.

This will be followed by meetings with countries that have been involved in the Afghanistan situation to talk about bringing peace and stability to the strife-torn country, he added.

Participants of the gathering said hundreds of religious scholars led by Gailani would hold talks with Taliban leaders to restore peace to Afghanistan.

Gailani added that he did not believe reports that Taliban leaders were outside Afghanistan’s borders. “I do not accept the rumours that Taliban leaders are in other places. They [government officials] say this because they cannot do anything else and they use this as an excuse,” he added.

“Most of Taliban leaders are in their own country. I say to the Taliban this is your country and also to the government that this is your country.”

Afghan officials claim that the Taliban leadership is hiding in Quetta and Peshawar – a claim Islamabad vehemently denies.

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The top Afghan spy agency reacted angrily to Gailani’s statement, calling it ‘irresponsible’.

“The Taliban leaders are on the other side of the Durand Line and are in large cities in Pakistan. The international community also accepts this now,” the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • gp65
    Jan 9, 2018 - 3:13AM

    IS the senior Afghan politician more senior than Ashraf Ghani? If not, how can his word veto that of Ghani?Recommend

  • Travis L
    Jan 9, 2018 - 6:00AM

    These sort of games worked in the past. This time, it is come clean or else.Recommend

  • Iqbal Faridi,
    Jan 9, 2018 - 6:59AM

    Yes, foot soldiers and mid level leaders are the refuges living in pakistan. When young return to afgan, they are tasked with carrying out attack. The leaders in afgan buy weapons from Indian recruits; they sale a portion of what is supposed to used against Pakistan. It is a complicated for US to figure out.

    When US first started operation against Taliban, taliban sympathizer pretended as anti taliban. US gave radios to call for US F16 if they come across taliban hideouts. They tricked US airforce to attack their neighbors to settle scores or other anti taliban. All they had say, taliban is gathering. One even called for attack on a wedding troupe, because he wanted stop the marriage of his secret love. Some duped US air force to work as their private air force.

    I guess, present US leader are not aware of all that. They check Time or Newsweek to verify those. They need to think like how afgan conduct biz, not what US or west behave. They should also.presiure India not use afgan against Pakistan. Because so of these weapons from india makes its way to taliban.

    Only days ago, I read, some the weapons the US and Saudi gave anti Asad and ISIS rebel, made their way into the hands of ISIS; some less than two weeks. I think it was saudi intelligence Report or Iraqi .Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Jan 9, 2018 - 9:05AM

    And Senior Pakistani Government officials vehemently stated that Osama bin Laden was NOT in Pakistan before he was killed by Americans!Recommend

  • King Cong
    Jan 9, 2018 - 10:28AM

    Another huge dent in the fabricated story. Recommend

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