A co-founder of the Taliban Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been appointed as new political leader of Taliban to strengthen and properly handle the ongoing negotiations process with the United States. Baradar, who was released from a prison in Pakistan in October last year, will also hold the post of third deputy to Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada.
The Taliban issued a statement to announce Baradar’s appointment and said “This step has been taken to strengthen and properly handle the ongoing negotiations process with the United States”. “Baradar will soon fly to Qatar. He has been given the new position because the US wanted senior Taliban leadership to participate in peace talks,” a senior Taliban official said.
US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s meeting with the Taliban representatives, which was originally due to run over two days, entered its fourth day on Thursday. It was not clear whether the talks were to continue on Friday, or how soon Baradar could join the talks.
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17 November, 2019