Taliban asks tribesmen to cease meeting American officials

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Khar (Pakistan), Mar 28 : Taliban spokesman Maulvi Umar has asked tribal elders in Pakistan to cease meeting with US officials, else they would be considered as American agents.

Umar's warning followed after the meeting of key tribal elders from the Khyber Agency with US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher in Landikotal on Wednesday.

The Taliban spokesman also welcomed the Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan's refusal to meet top US officials.

"Wali's refusal shows that the ANP is sincere in seeking peace in the Frontier province," Umar said, while expressing the hope that all problems would be resolved through negotiations.

He praised Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif's stance in a meeting with the two US officials to tell them that parliament would lay down its own policy, instead of following US directives.

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