Afghanistan urges Sami to push for resumption of Taliban peace talks

August 08, 2015

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Afghanistan’s ambassador in Pakistan, Janan Mosazai (L), talks to Maulana Samiul Haq at madrassah  Darul Uloom Haqqania in Nowshera. – Photo by author
Afghanistan’s ambassador in Pakistan, Janan Mosazai (L), talks to Maulana Samiul Haq at madrassah Darul Uloom Haqqania in Nowshera. – Photo by author

NOWSHERA: Afghanistan has sought the help of Maulana Samiul Haq to urge the Taliban to resume the Pakistan-brokered peace talks, which had been halted after the announced death of Taliban chief Mullah Omar.

Afghanistan’s ambassador in Pakistan, Janan Mosazai, along with a delegation met the Maulana, who is the chief of his own faction of Jamiat-e-Ulema-i-Islam, and held a six-hour long meeting with him in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Sources say the Afghan ambassador conveyed President Ashraf Ghani's message to Sami, requesting him to play his role in resumption of the suspended talks with Afghan Taliban.

Talking to media, Mosazai said Samiul Haq enjoys great support in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and confirmed that he requested the cleric to play his role for peace in the region.

The cleric, who runs the famous Darul Uloom Haqqania, appreciated Mosazai’s struggle for restoration of peace in Afghanistan and agreed to play his role in the matter.

On Aug 6, Maulana Samiul Haq, an influential figure among members of the Taliban on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border, himself had urged the newly declared head of the group, Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour, to sit down with rivals who have challenged his right to leadership.

"I would arrange for members of the two rival factions together to sit down in front of each other, ‎and in the presence of other leading religious scholars, we would listen to both sides and overcome this issue amicably," he told media.

Pakistan had hosted a meeting between the Afghan government and Afghan Taliban representatives in Murree on July 7, 2015, which was also attended by representatives from China and the United States.

The second round of the talks, which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan on July 31, 2015 was postponed after reports regarding the death of Mullah Omar and the ensuing leadership crisis among Taliban.

Read: More resignations as Taliban try to heal leadership rift

Mullah Akhtar Mansour was announced as the new Taliban emir after the militants confirmed the death of Mullah Omar but splits immediately emerged between Mansour and rivals challenging his appointment, exposing the Taliban’s biggest leadership crisis in recent years.

Syed Mohammad Tayab Agha, director of the Taliban's political office in Qatar, resigned from his post criticising the decision to make the appointment outside Afghanistan and backing calls for a new leadership council.

Agha was replaced by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, a senior negotiator in preliminary peace meetings with Kabul government officials in May and a former deputy foreign minister in the Taliban government toppled in 2001.

Also read: Sami supports Mullah Akhtar Mansoor