Taliban delegation visits Pakistan at invitation of Islamabad

A Taliban delegation, led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the political deputy head of the Taliban’s office in Doha, is expected to meet with high-ranking Pakistani officials on Wednesday, after arriving in the country.

The visit comes after an official invitation was extended to the group by the Pakistan government.

Among the officials the Taliban is expected to meet is Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

According to the group’s spokesman in Doha, the delegation will discuss issues of mutual interest.

Among the issues expected to be focused on are problems relating to refugees, relaxation and facilitation of the movement of Afghan nationals to Pakistan, as well as problems Afghan traders face.

A Pakistani Foreign Ministry official also confirmed the visit.

This will be the second delegation-level visit by Taliban to Pakistan in the last four months.

In August, a seven-member Taliban delegation led by Baradar held talks with Qureshi.

Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, was also present at the meeting.

Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq also confirmed the visit and said it would be from December 16 to 18.

He said: “The visit is part of Pakistan’s policy to reach out to key Afghan parties in peace negotiations that commenced in Doha last September.

“Pakistan supports broad-based and comprehensive political settlement for durable peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region,” Sadiq added.

in the other hand, Afghan Republic’s peace negotiators are expected to meet with the head of High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah today in Kabul after breaking for 20 days.