Some Taliban talks team members ‘still in Pakistan’

Taliban sources from the peace talks team said on Tuesday not all negotiators from their side have returned to Doha.

This comes after peace talks officially resumed eight days ago – although the first actual meeting was only held on Saturday.

According to a source, the team members who are not yet back in Doha are with their families but plan to return within the next two days.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s team has not commented about this nor have they disclosed how many Taliban talks team members are back in Doha.

All they have said is that the Taliban’s working committee, which is made up of seven members, is currently holding discussions with the republic’s team in the Qatari capital.

However, sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s political deputy head in Qatar and Abdul Hakim Haqqani, the head of the Taliban’s talks team, along with other members of the group have not returned.

“We have started working on the issues and we are moving forward. We do not have any problems in this regard and we are ready,” said Mohammd Naeem, Taliban’s spokesman.

A number of Taliban members traveled to Pakistan for the three-week break, which resumed last Tuesday.

Sources said they went to spend time with their families and will return to Qatar in two days.

“Some of them [Taliban] may have personal issues that is why they are in Pakistan; but I do not think it is true that Pakistan asked them to come to Pakistan,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban member.

On the other hand, some members of the Afghan republic’s negotiating team say that a general meeting between the representatives of the two sides has not yet been held. Because of this, they say they have no idea who from the Taliban’s team is in Doha and who is not.

“Work is being done on the agenda and the unification of the agenda, and we hope that this week we will be able to complete the agenda which is finished by us and we hope the other side also finishes, so we can enter the details of the agenda from next week,” said Ghulam Farooq Majroh, a member of the Afghan republic’s team.

Some believe that the second round of talks could be prolonged if members of the Taliban delegation do not return to Doha soon.