Include us in negotiations or leave country: Pakistan tells Taliban after being sidelined in talks

Islamabad: Two senior Taliban figures say that Pakistan has issued a stark warning to the militant group, apparently surprised over being excluded from the insurgents’ secret talks with the Afghan government.

The two figures say Islamabad has told the Taliban to either include Pakistan in the negotiations or have all the top Taliban leaders leave the country with their families.

The Islamabad ultimatum was expressed to a three-person Taliban delegation visiting Pakistan from Qatar, where the militant group’s political office is located.

The two Taliban figures, who are familiar with the meetings in Islamabad, spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the talks.

Pakistan’s government refused to comment today. It denies Afghan accusations that Islamabad is providing a safe haven to the Taliban.