Taliban say negotiating team finalized for peace talks


KABUL: The Taliban informed of finalizing its negotiating team for the long-anticipated intra-Afghan talks in Doha, the capital of Qatar, that have been delayed until an indefinite period due to lag in the prisoner release process.

Associated Press quoted chief Taliban negotiator Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai on Monday as saying that the 20-member negotiating team would have decision-making powers in the upcoming peace parleys.

The team figures 13 members of the Taliban’s leadership council, chosen exclusively by Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada, the insurgent group’s supreme leader.

The negotiators were reported to be authorized to form up agendas, decide strategy and potentially sign agreements with the Afghan government

According to the report, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will retain his post as head of the Taliban’s political office.

This comes as a delegation from the Taliban’s Qatar-based political office arrived in Pakistan on Monday to consult on issues impeding the start of the intra-Afghan dialogue, Pakistani media reported.

Meanwhile, the recently arisen differences between the Taliban and the Afghan administration over prisoners’ release has turned into an obstacle in the commencement of the intra-Afghan dialogue.