Pakistan's Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan on Thursday met former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, a senior official in the ousted government, to discuss the situation in the neighbouring country where the Taliban have announced the creation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Khan shared a picture of their meeting on Twitter, saying the two sides had "constructive discussions on efforts for lasting stability in Afghanistan".
Karzai also tweeted about the meeting, saying the current situation in Afghanistan and the inclusive political process through which a government could be formed with "national and international legitimacy" were discussed.
Karzai, Abdullah in talks with Taliban
A day earlier, Karzai and Abdullah met Taliban commander and senior leader of the Haqqani network, Anas Haqqani, as part of efforts to form an inclusive government in the war-torn country, a Taliban official said.
The Taliban official, who declined to be identified, gave no further details.
However, a spokesperson for Karzai, Mohammad Yusof Saha, said the talks were part of preliminary meetings that would facilitate eventual negotiations with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the top Taliban political leader.
Since the US had branded the Haqqani network, an important faction of the Taliban, a terrorist group almost a decade ago, its involvement in a future government could trigger international sanctions.
Before the meeting, Britain's chief of defence staff Nick Carter said he was in contact with former president Karzai who he said would meet the Taliban on Wednesday. "We have to be patient, we have to hold our nerve and we have to give them the space to form a government and we have to give them the space to show their credentials," Carter told the BBC.
"It may be that this Taliban is a different Taliban to the one that people remember from the 1990s.
"It’s less repressive. And indeed, if you look at the way it is governing Kabul at the moment, there are some indications that it is more reasonable."
20 Pakistanis repatriated
Meanwhile, 20 more Pakistanis were repatriated from Afghanistan via the border crossing at Torkham, Ambassador Khan shared.
"Embassy of Pakistan [in] Kabul sent another 20 Pakistanis, including women and children, from Kabul to Pakistan via Torkham. Two Embassy officials helped them cross into Pakistan in a safe manner," he tweeted.