Afghan Taliban dismiss reports of Pak JUI-F chief's mediation for talks with govt.

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 13, 2013 10:40 hrs

The Afghan Taliban has dismissed media reports stating that Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman had met Taliban negotiators in Qatar.

Rehman was reported to be in Qatar to "encourage the negotiators to talk to the Afghan government". The group, however, termed the reports incorrect.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid made it categorically clear that the no member of the outfit in Qatar has neither met anyone nor has any such meeting been under consideration.

However, sources close to the Taliban in Qatar, have confirmed that Rehman held one round of talks with the Taliban negotiators in Qatar and that more talks are planned.

The JUI-F chief - who was earlier scheduled to return home on Tuesday - has also extended his stay in the Gulf state, the sources said.

Taliban has so far refused to hold talks with the Afghan government, which they say is powerless and installed by foreigners. They quickly rejected a recent call by the Afghanistan-Pakistan-UK summit in London where leaders in a joint statement asked the Taliban to begin intra-Afghan talks.

The JUI-F source said that Rehman had agreed to travel to Qatar and to meet the Taliban negotiators after he was authorised by the Pakistani government. Rehman had told the government he will not meet the Taliban as the JUI-F head, but as a state representative.(ANI)

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