Islamabad – The US-Taliban peace talks, slated to be held in Pakistan on Monday, have been cancelled due to the aggressive stand taken by Afghanistan, regarding Pakistani backing received by Taliban. However, holding the United States accountable for cancelled talks, Afghan Taliban declared the next round of negotiations will be conducted in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Responding to this, the United States claimed it had not received an official invitation for the meeting in Pakistan.
Only last week, Afghan Taliban had chosen Pakistan for the second round of talks with the United States, and Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid had said that the talks with the US representatives are possible in Pakistan. Pakistan while welcoming the announcement had indicated of these talks to be a ‘Game Changer’. Thus, its cancellation comes as a jolt to Pakistan.
Earlier, Pakistan had announced that it was ready to host peace talks between the United States and Taliban and that the Pakistan government pledged to play the role of the mediator. However, the Taliban had rejected the proposal. Last week, the Taliban delegation held the second major meeting in Russia, after the first round of talks with the United States in Qatar. Following this meeting, the next round of talks with the United States will be held in Pakistan, confirmed Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid.
Afghanistan had responded very sharply to the announcement of the meeting being held in Pakistan. ‘The meeting in Pakistan is in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution. A formal complaint has been lodged with the UN Security Council, about it. The Afghan government was not consulted on Pakistan’s engagement with the Taliban,’ said Afghanistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry expressing its dissent.
While declaring about the cancellation of talks in Pakistan, the Taliban informed that the next round of negotiations with the United States would be held in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Doha has been the chosen location as the Taliban has established a political office there, it is said. Furthermore, the first round of negotiations between the United States and Taliban also took place in Doha.
At that time, talks were held between the US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban delegation. The talks were crucial in bringing the Taliban into the Afghan political mainstream. US President Trump too had called the talks with the Taliban to be successful.