Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Afghanistan's national security adviser, who is in Qatar to attend a conference on Afghanistan, held marathon discussion with the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani in Doha.
The top former commander, who spoke on condition anonymity, said: “Taliban officials, who had been involved in talks with the Pakistanis and the Chinese, and had sought time for consultations with the senior leaders, have received a green signal from the leadership.”
He also confirmed that “Pakistani officials had advised Taliban leaders to sit face-to-face with the Afghan government and put their demands to find out a political solution to the problem.”
Some leaders affiliated with the Taliban political office in Doha are expected to visit Pakistan soon for discussions to explore ways for the proposed peace dialogue, another Taliban leader said on Sunday. “A small delegation will be visiting Pakistan in days for consultations,” he said.
However, Ajmal Abedi, presidential spokesperson, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the national security advisor was in Qatar to attend a conference on Afghanistan. He said representatives of foreign and rural rehabilitation ministries were also accompanying Atmar.
Regarding peace talks, Abedi said, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had clear stance on the issue and people would not be kept in dark once the parleys kicked-off.
“Based on people’s demand, the government is going to start peace talks and nothing would be kept secret from the public,” he said, adding that no negotiations had been held with Taliban as of now.
Mohammad Hassan Haqyar, a political commentator said, Atmar’s visit to the Gulf state was important and he would definitely hold talks about the recent efforts in peace process with Qatari officials.
Taliban in a recent statement have announced support for talks. Pakistani media have also reported that a Taliban representative headed by Qari Din Mohammad had arrived in Islamabad to hold talks with the country’s officials.