Talks With Taliban Reaching Climax: Taliban Drops Preconditions

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Context

Media reports indicate that secret Afghan reconciliation talks are moving ahead. A Taliban official said they are hoping to achieve something workable and implementable. Meanwhile, the spokesperson for Pakistan army denies having any talks with the militants.

Last month, Maulvi Waliullah ordered prevention of training suicide bombers at several camps in South and North Waziristan. A TTP member said that Hakimullah is not aware of these developments. There are reports that military is chasing him, and he might have crossed into Afghanistan after defections of his loyalists to pro-Pakistani Taliban militant groups.

Meanwhile, Taliban insurgents have announced a major policy shift; abandoning their insistence on the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan as a precondition for peace talks. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has confirmed that preliminary agreements have been reached to open a political office in Qatar.

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said that they always believed that US would not be able to achieve its military goal in Afghanistan. He added and that they want a peaceful settlement of the conflict and want to make Afghanistan an Islamic state that harms no one.