Islamabad: Taliban has chosen Pakistan as the venue for the second round of talks with the United States. Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, announced that the negotiations with the US representatives could be held in Pakistan. Taliban also clarified that at the same time, discussions could be conducted with Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan. Pakistan has welcomed the Taliban announcement.
Last month, historical talks were held between the Taliban and the United States. Discussions were held between the Taliban delegation and the special representative of the United States for matters relating to Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad. These talks proved vital for bringing the Taliban into mainstream politics in Afghanistan. Even US President Trump had announced that the talks with the Taliban were successful.
Pakistan had announced that the talks between the United States and Taliban should be held in Pakistan and its government was willing to mediate. But the Taliban had rejected this Pakistani proposal. Following the Qatar talks, last week,the Taliban delegation held one more major meeting in Russia. Russia had invited representatives from Pakistan for this meeting. The Pakistan representatives appealed to the Taliban for a meeting. Taliban accepted the Pakistani proposal, and spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced that the meeting would be held in Pakistan on 18th of February.
Mujahid said that the Pakistani representatives also can participate in the meeting along with the Taliban and the United States. Pakistani foreign ministry has welcomed the Taliban announcement, and the United States has not given any reaction. The Taliban spokesman informed that the Pakistan-Afghanistan relations would be discussed in the meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan. This will address the issue of the Afghan refugees and trades living in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the United States has initiated talks with the Taliban and announced military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Pakistan, China and Russia have welcomed the announcement. Whereas India, carrying out developmental work in Afghanistan has expressed concerns over it.