• publish: 25 August 2020
  • time: 10:49 am
  • category: Politics
  • No: 15004
For formal talks

Taliban visit Pakistan’s foreign ministry

A delegation from the Taliban’s Qatar office will visit Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for formal talks on Tuesday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi confirmed.

Qureshi confirmed this during a press conference on Monday but did not provide any further details on who the delegation would meet nor on how long they were expected to be in Pakistan. 

The delegation, led by Mullah Abdul Baradar, the director of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, is in Pakistan at the invitation of the foreign ministry and members are expected to discuss matters around the Afghan peace negotiations. 

Baradar spent nearly eight years in prison in Pakistan before being freed in 2018 at the United State’s request. 

This is the second time the Taliban’s political team is visiting Pakistan. In October last year, the team first met Pakistan officials. 

Qureshi meanwhile raised this at the press conference and said the October visit had eventually led to the signing of the US-Taliban agreement in Doha in February. 

He said the Taliban had been invited again in the hope that stumbling blocks in the way of starting intra-Afghan talks could be ironed out so that talks could start soon. 

On Sunday, Suheil Shaheen, the Taliban’s political office spokesman, said in a series of tweets that the delegation would discuss a number of issues with Pakistani officials. 

“The delegation will hold talks with senior Pakistani officials about recent developments in Afghanistan’s peace process, relaxation and facilitation of peoples’ movement and trade between the two neighboring countries, issues related to the Afghan refugees in Pakistan and other related topics,” he said on Twitter. 

He also stated: “Delegations of the Political Office will pay more visits to other countries in near future as well.”

This comes just days after Pakistan imposed sanctions on individuals and “terrorist associated groups”, including Baradar, in keeping with the United Nations Security Council resolutions in order to avoid being demoted from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list.

Included in the measures taken, which would theoretically directly affect Baradar, Pakistan imposed a travel ban on 88 individuals and seized bank accounts and assets belonging to terrorists in the country. 

In a statement last week, the Foreign Ministry said: “The sanctions are being implemented by Pakistan in compliance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and we hope that other countries will also follow suit.” 

This notification comes ahead of the crucial FATF meeting in October which will see the force assess Pakistan’s progress in fighting crimes such as money laundering and terror financing. 

Pakistan has long been accused of sheltering and supporting Taliban leaders but Islamabad has continued to deny the charges.

Pakistan meanwhile has been on FATF’s grey list since June 2018 and was given a final warning in February.

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