Doha, Feb 25.
Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has arrived in Qatar
to attend the next round of talks with the US slated to begin here on Monday,
officials said, adding that these could be the highest-level negotiations on
ending the Afghan war.
are expected to focus on the details of a framework deal that the two sides
reached in principle last month, The New York Times reported.
framework, American troops would withdraw from Afghanistan in return for
a Taliban guarantee that Afghan territory would never be used by terrorists.
have refused to meet the Afghan government but President Ashraf Ghani
has insisted that the peace talks will not go anywhere unless the insurgents
formally sit with his administration.
officials have said that any final agreement would require the insurgents to
meet with Afghan officials and to declare a cease-fire to ease the burden of a
war that is taking lives in record numbers.
Khalilzad, the special envoy leading the American delegation, said he would be
pushing the insurgents to agree to the steps with the Afghan side.
Baradar’s arrival in Doha on Sunday from Pakistan, where he had been detained
for years, was confirmed to The New York Times by a Western official who
Agha, a former Taliban official, also confirmed the news, saying:
Baradar reached Doha… and he will take part in peace talks with
Baradar was instrumental in Taliban’s regrouping as a strong insurgency after
the US toppled their regime in 2001.
arrested in a joint operation of Pakistani and American agents near Karachi in
2010. In October 2018, the Taliban confirmed that Pakistan had released him.
this month, the US claimed that Baradar was released at US’ request to help
expedite the peace talks.
the two sides held marathon talks in Doha with discussions primarily focused on
the US troops’ withdrawal and assurances that Afghan soil would not be used
again by any terrorist organisation.