Taliban Leader Isolated, Rejects Meeting People, Says Pak’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan

Wednesday, 06/07/2023

Asif Durrani, Pakistan's special envoy for Afghanistan, claimed that various countries including the United States, have "direct relations" with the Taliban in Kabul and Doha.

He said that the Taliban leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, is the only person who is isolated and denies meeting people.

In an interview with the Center for Research and Security Studies, Durrani said, "21 embassies in Kabul and 16 embassies, including the US embassy in Doha," are in contact with the Taliban.

Regarding global engagement with the Taliban, he said that it's not the world that doesn't want to have ties with the group, rather it's Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada who doesn't see people.

Pakistan’s special envoy stressed that except for Akhundzada, other Taliban leaders are in touch with the international community.

Although Durrani had been sceptical about the reports that Akhundzada had met with the Qatari Prime Minister in Kandahar, he added that if this meeting is true, it is a sign of change in the Taliban leader's interaction with other countries.

No photo of the Taliban leader has been published yet, but the Taliban publishes news of his meeting with the group’s officials.

Regarding the recognition of the Taliban, Pakistan's special representative for Afghanistan said that the decision will be taken by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Durrani called Pakistan a victim of Afghanistan's developments and said that thousands of people enter Pakistan from Afghanistan without going through legal procedures every day and linked that to instability inside Afghanistan.

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