ISLAMABAD, August 21: A Pakistani delegation left on Saturday for talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan, continuing a peace mission which has been rejected by opponents of the hardline Islamic militia.
Officials said the delegation, headed by top interior ministry official Rustam Shah, will meet the Taliban’s supreme leader Mulla Mohammad Omar at the militia’s Kandahar base in southern Afghanistan.
Pakistan initiated the peace mission this week when its delegation held talks in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, with representatives of Afghanistan’s opposition military Commander Ahmad Shah Masood. Immediately after the Dushanbe meeting, the Afghan Opposition said it had rejected Islamabad’s initiative because of what it called Pakistan’s "military intervention" in Afghanistan in support of the Taliban.
Pakistan refuted the charge as "malicious and baseless", asserting its neutrality and reiterating that it has all along tried to help bring about a peaceful settlement between the warring sides. Officialshere said that despite the Opposition’s reaction Pakistan would continue its peace mission.