Senior Taliban leaders and Pakistan’s foreign minister met on Thursday in Islamabad as part of a move to revive an Afghanistan peace deal discussed in months of US-Taliban talks before those negotiations collapsed.
The visit by the Afghan Taliban leaders coincided with that of Washington's special peace envoy for Afghanistan, who was also in Islamabad on Thursday for "consultations" with Pakistani officials, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Before coming to Pakistan, the Taliban delegation traveled to Russia, China and Iran, officials and a Taliban spokesman said.
The 12-member team met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the country’s intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed, foreign secretary Sohail Mahmood and other officials.
According to Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen, the delegation arrived in Islamabad late Wednesday.
US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad had spent the last year negotiating a peace deal with the Taliban, which seemed imminent until Sept. 7, when the talks collapsed amid a surge in deadly Taliban attacks across Afghanistan _ including one that killed a US.soldier _ and President Donald Trump declared the talks "dead."
According to AP, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday that the Taliban delegation was invited by Islamabad and that “the visit would provide the opportunity to review the progress made under US-Taliban peace talks so far, and discuss the possibilities of resuming the paused political” process for Afghanistan.