Afghan Taliban postpone Pakistan visit because of travel restrictions

Representatives of the Taliban attend international talks on Afghanistan in Moscow on November 9, 2018. (AFP)

A delegation of the Afghan Taliban, which was scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on February 18, has postponed its visit because of travel restrictions, Taliban spokesperson confirmed Sunday.

A meeting between the Afghan Taliban delegation and Prime Minister Imran Khan was scheduled too.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry confirmed that Islamabad will host a meeting between the Afghan Taliban and the US in Islamabad.

“The Islamic Emirate had arranged for their representatives to participate but unfortunately, most members of the negotiations team were unable to travel due to the US and UN blacklist and the meeting was postponed,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman said in a statement.

Related story: Pakistan to host talks between the Afghan Taliban and the US on February 18

He said that the Taliban had completed their preparations for the visit.

On February 13, Taliban said that a negotiating team of Afghan Taliban will be visiting Islamabad next week to hold another round of negotiations with the officials of the US. The statement said that the Taliban team will also meet Prime Minister Imran Khan “to hold comprehensive discussions about Pak-Afghan relations and issues pertaining to Afghan refugees and Afghan businessmen”.

PM Khan has publicly taken credit for facilitating the peace talks and assured the nation that Pakistan “will do everything within its power” to further the Afghan peace process.

“Pakistan has helped in the dialogue between Taliban and the US in Abu Dhabi. Let us pray that this leads to peace and ends almost three decades of suffering of the brave Afghan people,” Khan said.

A US team led by US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad has been negotiating with the Taliban representative to put an end to the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan.

 
 
 
 
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