ISLAMABAD: China hosted a delegation of top Afghan Taliban leaders recently as part of its efforts to encourage the militant group to join the peace process in the war-torn Afghanistan, a media report said on Tuesday.
The five-member delegation led by Afghan Taliban’s Qatar office chief Sher Abbas Stanikazai included Maulvi Shahabuddin Dilawar, Jan Muhammad Madani, Salam Hanafi and Saleh, the Express Tribune newspaper reported, quoting Taliban sources.
People who are aware of the activities of the Taliban Qatar office also confirmed the visit, the report said. “The visit was part of the relations of the political office with European countries such as Norway, Germany, France, Britain as well as neighbouring and regional countries,” a Taliban source said.
“But these relations are focused on bringing about peace in Afghanistan and resolving the issue through negotiations,” said the source who did not want to be mentioned by name.
“Being a major world power, China is a main stakeholder and wants to play its vital role for peace and stability in Afghanistan. That is why it invited the Taliban,” another Taliban leader said.
Regional experts are of the view that China has been actively trying to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan, particularly in view of the vacuum that has emerged in the country and the region due to the failure of American policy and subsequent drift and confusion in the US-Afghan policy.