A senior Taliban leader who had met Afghan government officials for talks in Doha earlier this year had rejected a proposal of ceasefire before the dialogue.
Brother of Taliban chief Mullah Muhammad Omar’s brothers and the head of its Preaching and Guidance CommissionMullah Abdul Manan Akhund met two senior Afghan officials and a United States diplomat in the Qatar capital, in an effort to take the peace talks forward, which was sanctioned by outgoing President Barack Obama’s administration, a report in ‘The Indian Express’ has said.
The report quoted Afghan government sources as saying that the failure to move forward on a ceasefire means there was little chance of negotiations with the Taliban, at least not before new adminstration takes charge in the US.
The Taliban, in a statement denied it has engaged in any talks with the government, continuing with its stand that there was no question of talks with the government hile foreign troops remain in the country. Failure of last-ditch efforts for talks came at a time when India is planning to supply T72 battle tanks to Afghan forces, along with 105 mm artillery, trucks and mobility equipment . Offficials have been asked to fast-track deliveries.
Afghan officials have confirmed of the meeting which was initiated by Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, the head of Afghanistan’s intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security. Before this, the first meeting was held between Mullah Manan and Stanekzai was held in September and another one involving Afghan National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar earlier this month.