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Sartaj Aziz denies remarks on Afghan Taliban talks’ deadline

ISLAMABAD, 23 JUNE (DNA) – Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, Tuesday denied remarks attributed to him that the Afghan Taliban and the gov’t will meet within a week.Section of the media has quoted Mr Aziz as saying that Kabul and the Taliban will hold another round of talks in a week as follow up the Urumqi talks.

The adviser said that he has been misquoted. “I had only said that there is a chance that the Taliban and the government will meet again. I did not say they will meet within a week,” Sartaj Aziz said when asked about the Taliban-Kabul talks.

He said it is not appropriate for the Pakistani side to give dates as it is an Afghan matter, and Pakistan is only playing a facilitator role. Sources say that Pakistan had facilitated the talks in China between senior Taliban leaders and top official of the High Peace Council, Masoom Stenakzai.

Stenakzai. has now been appointed as the defence minister and was scheduled to be introduced to the parliament for confirmation on Monday; however, the Taliban attack delayed his confirmation. The Taliban had denied their leaders met in Urumqi with the Afghan gov’t/

Sources however say a three-member of the Taliban Mullah Abdul Jalil, Maulvi Hasan and Maulvi Abdul Razaq had traveled to China last month and met the peace council leader.

The information was earlier leaked to the media in Kabul and Sartaj Aziz confirmed the meeting when he spoke at the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly on Monday. DNA

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