Taliban’s scheduled talks with Pak, US officials cancel due to ban over Taliban leaders’ movement

The Afghan Taliban has on Sunday announced that cancellation of their scheduled dialogues with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and the United States top officials in Islamabad.

According to The International News reports, Pak’s federal information minister Fawad Chaudhry said the Taliban meeting with Khan has been cancelled. The Taliban officials said tough their dialogues with Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, in Islamabad was not planned but they were told that there might be meeting between MBS and the Taliban.

A senior Taliban leader said, “All our proposed meetings in Pakistan have been cancelled due to some unavoidable issues.” He said their scheduled meeting was cancelled which was scheduled in Islamabad as most of the Taliban leaders were not able to travel Islamabad due to a ban imposed on their movements by the United Nations security council.

While, speaking on a condition of anonymity, another Taliban leader, in Qatar, said, “This ban on movement on our leaders is like a hanging sword on us. There should be an end to this drama if the world powers are sincere in resolving the Afghan conflict.”

However, some officials said Pakistan had cancelled their scheduled meeting with Taliban in Islamabad after the war-torn Afghan country approached the UN security council to raise some objections to Pak’s engagement with the Taliban officials.

In a tweet, spokesperson and director general of communication of Afghanistan’s foreign affairs Sibghatullah Ahmadi mentioned: “Afghanistan complains to the UN Security Council on Pakistan’s engagements with the Taliban on which Afghan government is not consulted. It not only undermines the ongoing peace efforts but violates Afghanistan’s national sovereignty, also falls in violation of UNSC Resolution 1988.”

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid has also issued a statement to media to confirm the cancellation of their envoy’s meeting with Khan and the US officials. Mujahid said the talks were cancelled due to a ban on Taliban leaders’ movement.

According to the Taliban sources, some of Taliban’s representative managed to visit Islamabad and some are trying to reach by the evening.

A senior Taliban leader said: “Soon after their arrival in Islamabad, they were told that their meeting with Imran Khan and other civil and military officials had been cancelled. However, they were told that meeting with US officials and Mohammad bin Salman were likely to take place as per the previous plan.”

After hours, Taliban representatives were conveyed all their meetings had been cancelled due to several “unavoidable circumstances”.

A Taliban member in Qatar, said, “Some regional powers are out to sabotage the ongoing peace process. We would like to appeal to all world powers to support the present peace initiative and help restore peace in Afghanistan.”

He mentioned they were saddened by the meeting’s cancellation after Taliban representatives’ visited Pakistan.

However, the Taliban said their proposed dialogue with the US negotiators would soon happen in Doha, Qatar, as scheduled, on February 25.



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