Afghan Taliban confirm visit to China

Published: January 28, 2015
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The Taliban delegation’s rare visit visit to China has led to speculations in Afghanistan about a possible Beijing role in the Afghan peace process. PHOTO: AFP

The Taliban delegation’s rare visit visit to China has led to speculations in Afghanistan about a possible Beijing role in the Afghan peace process. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Afghan Taliban confirmed on Tuesday that its representatives visited China recently but balked at the possibility of the militia seeking Beijing’s mediation in any talks with President Ashraf Ghani’s administration.

Earlier, the Taliban and China had declined to officially comment on the reported visit of Taliban representatives to Beijing ahead of President Ghani’s maiden visit to the Chinese capital in October, last year.

The Chinese delegation was headed by Qari Din Muhammad Hanif, a senior negotiator in the Taliban political office in Qatar. The Taliban’s rare visit has led to speculations in Afghanistan about a possible Beijing role in the Afghan peace process.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, however, clarified on Tuesday that the visit was not aimed at seeking Beijing’s role to mediate with the Kabul administration.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has had longstanding relations with the world, and has paid visits globally, particularly neighbours, and China is one of them. We have not sought China’s mediation in any peace talks with the government, but we want good relations with the world, especially neighbours,” Mujahid said the Taliban spokesman in a policy statement.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will continue visits, and maintain and expand relations and contacts with China and other neighbouring countries to convey its stance,” he said in a statement.

“We have not visited any country for mediation. We have also not positively responded to any mediation offer and media reports about the issue are not true,” Mujahid said. “I want to point out that many countries, which have sympathies with the Afghan nation and the Islamic Emirate, have floated suggestions to play a role in solution to the problems. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan respects all these efforts but has not taken any decision.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2015. 

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Omar
    Jan 28, 2015 - 9:21AM

    Haha @ Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Thank you Taliban spokesman for making my day!

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  • Alfa Romeo
    Jan 28, 2015 - 10:00AM

    Headline should have been ISI delegation along with Shareef’s visited china, instead of Afghan Taliban.

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  • Milind
    Jan 28, 2015 - 12:33PM

    After reading the headline, I thought the Taliban were successful in infiltrating into China. However it looks like they were on tea party-apple picking trip, all paid by their sponsors – Pakistan govt & agencies..

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  • pakistani
    Jan 28, 2015 - 12:46PM

    @Milind:
    And of course fully supported by RAW… We are fighting them in Waziristan if you have not read the news lately.

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  • Khattak
    Jan 28, 2015 - 1:11PM

    These are not very good signals given to Afghanistan. We do not want any more massacres like the one in Army Public School in Peshawar nor any school/playground in Afghanistan. Please stop this Talib monkey business.

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  • Tyggar
    Jan 28, 2015 - 2:09PM

    @pakistani:
    And of course fully supported by RAW

    Taliban was created entirely by the Pakistani agencies. In fact Pakistan was one of the few countries that rushed to recognize the Taliban government.

    Your stance is a classic case of what one would call Projection as a defense mechanism.

    Projection is a form of defense in which unwanted feelings are displaced onto another person, where they then appear as a threat from the external world. A common form of projection occurs when an individual, threatened by his own angry feelings, accuses another of harbouring hostile thoughts.

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  • Mega
    Jan 28, 2015 - 2:15PM

    So the Taliban which was friends of pakistan and only recognised by pakistan and saudi govt is now taking a trip to China. Why exactly is the Taliban clan blamed on india then? The govt india never recognises any form of Taliban in past nor ever will in future. These are same people who hijacked indian civilian plane carrying more than hundred passengers in exchange of terrorist. And we know in which country, the exchanged terrorist landed and who hosted and let him give free interview. It was also called “small issue “by their foriegn spokesperson.
    About Taliban, which country called them brothers and encouraged them? The Taliban are same people they created to fight soviet. Which created arms culture and illegal market hub and factory there and on border areas for their benefit. It was ok and acceptable then. They have videos of bonhomy with generals that called them brothers. When america came threatening war on terror they had to ditch them. Betrayal to brothers. Now brothers are taking revenge of betrayals. So now peace talks, misguided brothers, come back, certain civilian govt officals doing dharna to release caught ones etc. but now new narrative to calm angry locals india is behind them. Wow. India will never forget they hijacked our plane, or their open threat to modi is coming for gujarat and kashmir.
    Now we see the same folk visiting China. The picture is clear now. Which allies are invovled. I won’t be suprised if tommorow taliban China pakistan becomes friends. Then again when america comes hitting to eradicate them and taliban fires back on you. Blame on india, we did it.

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  • Milind
    Jan 28, 2015 - 9:12PM

    @Pakistani – “And of course fully supported by RAW… We are fighting them in Waziristan if you have not read the news lately.”

    Why did it take you so long to act against them, if you’re so sure they’re supported by RAW? Why protest the drone attacks?

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