Islamabad: Afghan Taliban negotiators have told Pakistan that they need more time to prepare themselves for the peace talks with the Afghan government, a media report said on Saturday.
Afghan government has been trying to woo the militant group for peace talks after a leading warlord of Soviet jihad era, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, inked agreement to end violence.
Three senior members of the Qatar-based Taliban political office arrived in Pakistan in late October after reports suggested that a senior Taliban leader had met Afghanistan's spy chief in the Gulf country in the presence a senior US official, the Express Tribune reported.
"The Taliban representatives have wrapped up their nearly two-week visit and conveyed to Pakistani officials that they have not yet decided to enter into dialogue with the Kabul administration," the paper said, citing a Taliban source.
"The Taliban leaders insisted they could only say whether or not the group will join talks after two or three months."
Other sources familiar with Taliban internal discussions said Pakistan told the visiting negotiators that it wants the Taliban to join the peace process.
Pakistan is seemingly upset at the Taliban’s refusal to come to the negotiation table and could press them to review their stance on the peace process.
It is widely believed that the arrest of senior Taliban leader Ahmadullah Muti alias Mullah Nanai last month in Balochistan was aimed at conveying a message to the group to join the peace process.
Taliban sources confirmed the detention of Nanai and three other leaders but gave no reasons for the arrests.
A Taliban official had earlier stated that the Qatar-based Taliban leaders had also "sought an explanation" from Pakistan over the arrest of their leaders.
The refusal by Taliban to end violence is a major setback to Kabul as it has pinned hope on insurgents agreeing for peace to retrieve the sagging fortunes of the country....