US in 'indirect' talks with Afghan Taliban

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Lahore, Nov.24 (ANI): The United States is in secret talks with the Afghan Taliban, with countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Britain playing the role of mediators, sources have revealed.

According to a private television channel, the Obama administration is trying hard to end the eight-year long Afghan ordeal, where the war against the Taliban has failed to yield the desired results so far.

The channel reported that Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar has appointed his shadow foreign minister, Agha Muhtisam, to hold negotiations with the US.

Reports indicate that Harkatul Mujahideen chief Fazalur Rehman Khalil has also been invited to take part in the negotiations apart from Abdullah Ans, who is considered as Al-Qaeda chief Osama-bin Laden's mentor.

The Daily Times reported that a crucial meeting between the Taliban leaders and US officials might take place in Afghanistan anytime after Eid-ul-Azha.

Meanwhile, US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has confirmed that the Obama administration is in contact with the Taliban, but not in direct terms.

Holbrooke said: "Washington would continue to support the Afghan government," adding: " The US was not in direct contact with the Afghan Taliban."

He reiterated America's stand that it supports India-Pakistan bilateral talks, but would not act as a 'mediator.' (ANI)

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