Taliban say unable to attend Pakistan talks; blame travel blacklist


Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry confirmed that Islamabad will host a meeting between the Afghan Taliban and the U.S. in Islamabad.

The talks between USA negotiators and Taliban members in Islamabad which was supposed to be held on Monday, February 18, has been postponed, Taliban acknowledged in a statement on Sunday.

The statement said that Taliban was prepared for the talks but most negotiators in the group could not attend the meeting as they are on the US and United Nations blacklist.

They said Afghanistan was not comfortable with these talks and the delay in the arrival of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman visit was another reason.

Last month the two sides held detailed talks and there were indications that they have come closer to end more than 17 years of conflict in Afghanistan.

Afghan Taliban and U.S. representatives meeting in Islamabad has been delayed as some of the Taliban's delegation members were unable to travel to Islamabad due to travel restrictions.

An Auctioned Off Copy of Super Mario Bros
It's not unthinkable that a copy of Super Mario Bros . like this one could eventually be worth that much. One of the game's buyers, Jim Halperin , didn't rule out selling the copy of Super Mario Bros . on.

Last week, Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid had said that their negotiation team would call on the Pakistani premier to hold comprehensive discussions about Pak-Afghan relations.

The Taliban control almost half of Afghanistan, and are more powerful than at any time since the 2001 US-led invasion after the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.

Officials said Sunday that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lodged complained with the UN Security Council on a planned meeting between Taliban representatives and the Pakistani prime minister, calling it a clear violation of Afghanistan's national sovereignty.

Since being appointed in September, Khalilzad has met with all sides in an attempt to end America's longest war in which the USA has lost over 2,400 soldiers in more than 17 years.

Afghan and Taliban officials said the Afghan government complaint was most likely only part of the reason for cancellation, particularly since some of the Taliban delegation members have always been living in Pakistan anyway, but it has renewed a debate around the ability of insurgent leaders to travel freely in recent years.