Afghan Taliban refuse to talk to Afghan govt., U.S. representatives in Pakistan

Afghan Taliban in Moscow, Russia, for negotiations held recently to find solution to the Afghan conflict. Pakistan officials also attended peace talks.

The Afghan Taliban have repeated their refusal to deal directly with the Afghan government.

They also rejected reports that they were prepared to resume meetings with the U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad, Pakistan.  

Pakistani newspapers and news channels reported that a meeting in Islamabad was likely to take place between the Afghan Taliban, the Afghan government, U.S. officials following discussions between Khalilzad and Pakistani officials including Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Taliban representatives said that regional powers including Pakistan had approached them and wanted them to meet the U.S. delegation, and the Afghan government officials.

They said they refused to meet them in Pakistan.

Talks between the two sides have stalled after the Taliban accused U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad of straying from the agreed agenda.

A Taliban leader said, they have made it clear repeatedly that they would not hold any meeting with the Afghan government as they are not capable of addressing their demands.

He also said peace talks with the US delegation could resume on three conditions, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, an exchange of prisoners and lifting a ban on the movement of Taliban leaders.

The United States has long been pushing Islamabad to put pressure on Taliban leaders, who it says are based in Pakistan.

The United States also say Pakistan is covertly sheltering Taliban leaders, its militants and other militant groups.

Pakistan vehemently denies, calling it accusations and lies.