Taliban’s top leadership has decided that Mohammad Fazil Akhund should be appointed as new chief negotiator.
“I don’t know about reasons that led Mulla Abbas Stanakzai’s replacement but I heard the top leadership felt he could not represent them and their case accordingly,” an unidentified senior Taliban leader was quoted as saying.
Stanekzai will participate in peace talks, but would not lead the Taliban team, he said.
The news comes as Taliban representatives and US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met in Doha on Wednesday for sixth round of peace talks.
Khalilzad is believed to be pushing for a ceasefire, but the Taliban said that they cannot enter into other topics before finalizing the issues of withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and preventing the country from harming others.
“We feel that Khalilzad and his team are eager to get something from the peace process that better suits them. They are desperately trying to convince or force Taliban on ceasefire but that would never happen so easily,” a Taliban leader was quoted by The News.
He said that prisoners’ exchange and an interim set up in Afghanistan could come under discussion in the peace talks.