Taliban denies report of secret peace talks with Afghan government

Kabul: The Taliban outfit on Wednesday rejected as baseless reports that it was holding secret peace talks with the Afghan government, media reported.

“No talks have been held with officials from Kabul regime, neither in Qatar, nor in other place and any report on the subject is baseless and fabricated,” the Xinhua news agency reported citing a statement by the armed group.

In the statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Majahid categorically stated that “the stance of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (name of ousted Taliban regime) with regard to peace talks is clear” and has not changed.

According to reports, the Taliban and the Afghan government on Tuesday resumed their secret talks in Qatar as the peace process started in 2013 broke down following the death of Taliban founder Mullah Omar’s successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour.

The Afghan government, which inked a peace deal in September with Gulbudin Hekmatyar, leader of his own faction of the Hizb-e-Islami Islamic party, has been trying to ink a similar deal with the Taliban outfit.