Afghan meeting with jailed Taliban leader denied
[Dawn] The Afghan embassy in Islamabad on Tuesday denied reports that Afghan government representatives had met with a key Taliban capo imprisoned in Pakistain to discuss peace negotiations.
"No such meeting has taken place. We completely deny any meeting between Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Afghan officials," Zardasht Shams, front man for the Afghan embassy in Islamabad, told AFP.
A source close to Mullah Baradar's family told AFP that Afghan delegates were not given access to Baradar in jail but family members had passed him a message from the Afghan government on reconciliation.
Baradar, a powerful Taliban military chief who has been described as the turbans' second in command was tossed in the slammer
You have the right to remain silent...
in 2010 in Pakistain.
At the time, the Afghan government and the former UN envoy to Afghanistan said his detention had adversely affected efforts to talk to the cut-throats in a bid to end the decade-long Afghan war.
Mohammad Ismail Qasimyar, a member of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, on Monday said Afghan government officials and members of the Afghan embassy in Pakistain held secret talks with Baradar in prison two months ago.
A Pak security official confirmed Monday an official delegation from Afghanistan had made an initial contact with Baradar two months ago, but the Pak government later denied a meeting.
"The news reports about a meeting between Afghan officials and Mullah Baradar are baseless and incorrect," said the Pak interior ministry in a short statement issued late Monday.
President Karzai has long sought to negotiate with the Taliban but the militia has in public refused to deal with his administration, branding it an American puppet.
Posted by: Fred