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December 6, 2019
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Afghan Taliban rejects reports they are ready for peace talk with US

ISLAMABAD: Afghan Taliban have denied the reports that they were willing to hold talks with the United States, saying these are false and fabricated.  

An Afghan Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said that the reports of the faction pushing for peace talks were false.

Earlier, an international wire service reported that Afghan Taliban had signalled through the Pakistani military that they were ready to initiate peace talks, which could be held later in the day.

The Reuters report had also quoted sources within the Afghan Taliban as saying that their negotiators would hold the first round of peace talks with US officials in Qatar, although no comment was immediately available from US or Qatari officials.

Earlier on Thursday, a senior Pakistani military official said that Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif, told Ghani during a visit this week that the Taliban were willing to begin negotiations as early as March.

“They have expressed their willingness and there will be progress in March. But these things are not so quick and easy,” Reuters quoted the officials as saying.

Commenting about recent news reports appearing in a section of the press about peace talks between Afghan government and Afghan Taliban, Director General ISPR said that reconciliation between Afghan government and Afghan Taliban to bring lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan always comes up during any meeting related to Afghanistan.

Pakistan has always supported such process, and re-emphasised it to be absolutely transparent, Afghan owned and Afghan led. While onus for such negotiations to succeed lies on both parties concerned, Pakistan in all sincerity will support the process, as peace in Afghanistan will contribute to peace in the region. We hope all stake holders will continue to act with responsibility not to allow detractors of peace to succeed.