A Taliban delegation, comprising intelligence and security officials, secretly visited Islamabad recently to discuss a way forward towards addressing Pakistan’s concerns regarding the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), according to a media report on Tuesday.
Taliban ranks in Kabul also confirmed that a mid-level delegation led by Abdullah Ghazanavi, the head of Taliban’s General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI), travelled to Islamabad for discussion on the TTP and threats to Pakistan, the Pakistani Express Tribune newspaper reported, citing sources.
The visit was a follow-up of last month’s trip to Kabul by a high-powered delegation led by Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, which received a briefing on the steps taken by the Taliban government to deal with the TTP.
The Pakistani delegation, however, deemed those steps unsatisfactory and sought concerted actions. Pakistan also confronted the Taliban leadership with proofs about the whereabouts of the TTP leadership.
According to the paper, during its stay in Islamabad, the Taliban delegation met with the relevant authorities to discuss the security situation and the fate of the TTP and its affiliates.
Citing a source in Kabul with knowledge of the matter, the paper said that the delegation, comprising 10 members from the Taliban’s intelligence, visited Islamabad last week.
The delegation was also assisted by Taliban GDI official Muhammad Wardak, the source said, adding that the delegation was mandated to deliver a message from Kabul that the concerns of Pakistan would be addressed.
Both sides stayed mum on the visit. The sources in Islamabad said that given the sensitivity of the issue, both sides decided to discuss such matters away from the media glare.
The source in Kabul revealed that both sides made progress on various issues, but he was not authorized to make public statements.
The TTP has become a thorny issue between Pakistan and the Taliban. Pakistan expected the Taliban to address its concerns regarding the TTP after its return to power in August 2021. But contrary to the expectations, the TTP attacks only went up.