Pakistan intelligence arranged Taliban China visit: Faizi

KABUL (Pajhwok): Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency had arranged the Taliban delegation’s visit to China in November last year, Aimal Faizi, spokesman of the former president revealed on Saturday.
A day earlier, a leading Pakistani The News newspaper said that a two-member delegation of Afghan Taliban visited China where they held extensive negotiations with Chinese officials.
The newspaper while quoting diplomatic sources said that Qari Din Muhammad, Afghan Taliban member in Doha, Qatar, visited China last November. The delegation, the paper said had discussed issues pertaining to Afghanistan and the latest political situation in the region.
However, no specific details are available into the negotiations but the Taliban may have started thinking about China’s role to ensure peace in the war-torn country and kick-start the stalled reconciliation process.
Quoting an unnamed Taliban official, the paper said that he confirmed the visit of the Taliban officials to China and said: “The purpose of the trip was to share the Islamic Emirate’s stance with China.”
However, Aimal Faizi , spokesman of former president Hamid Karzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Taliban delegations visited several countries, including China, with the extended cooperation of Pakistani intelligence agency.
Taliban delegation could not visit China of its own, he remarked. “The China’s visit by a Taliban delegation in November was facilitated and arranged by the Pakistan’s intelligence agency,” he reiterated.
“Pakistan wanted to get some benefit from China by sending the (Taliban) delegation there. It was aimed at securing China’s interests in Afghanistan,” Faizi added.
Earlier, the Taliban delegations from its Qatar office also visited Japan, France and Iran in the past. Besides attending different meetings and conferences, they also held talks with officials of these countries.
The visit of the Taliban delegation to China came shortly after the newly-elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani paid a four-day official trip to China. The Afghan president, while addressing the ‘Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference’ in Beijing, termed China as the key country which can help restore peace in Afghanistan and urged the Taliban to take part in the intra-Afghan dialogues.
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