Taliban to meet PM Khan in Islamabad on Monday

In this Feb. 6, 2019 file photo, Taliban Mullah Abbas Stanikzai, center, attends "intra-Afghan" talks in Moscow, Russia. Stanikzai will also lead the 14-member Taliban team that will hold negotiations with US diplomats in the forthcoming talks in Doha. (AP)
Updated 14 February 2019

Taliban to meet PM Khan in Islamabad on Monday

  • The group announced previously unscheduled meeting with US diplomats in Pakistan
  • Taliban spokesman says his faction is in touch with the Americans

PESHAWAR: Members of a Taliban negotiating team will call on Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Monday, February 18, after holding a meeting with a United States delegation in response to a formal invitation from Pakistan, said the group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, in a statement released on Wednesday night.

Mujahid added that the “team of Islamic Emirate” will have “comprehensive discussions” with the prime minister “about Pak-Afghan relations and issues pertaining to Afghan refugees and Afghan businessmen.”

It may be recalled that the Afghan faction had issued a list of 14 representatives a day earlier, naming those members who would participate in the next round of peace talks with US diplomats in Doha, Qatar, on February 25.

The list mentioned that the Taliban negotiating team would be headed by Abbas Stanikzai and include five former inmates of the Guantanamo Bay prison facility who were released in 2014 in exchange for an American soldier who was captured by the Afghan group in 2009.

Mujahid also noted in his statement that the US had not named members of its negotiating team, though he added that the two sides were in contact with each other.

As the Taliban and US negotiators interact to reach a peace deal before the Afghan presidential election in July this year, it is widely believed that any breakthrough in the negotiating process could lead to Taliban’s participation in the July ballot.

However, the group’s spokesman recently noted it was premature for his faction to say it would contest the presidential election unless it had reached a peace deal with the Americans.


Pakistan, Zimbabwe squads get all clear after COVID-19 tests 

Updated 27 October 2020

Pakistan, Zimbabwe squads get all clear after COVID-19 tests 

  • Tests were conducted Monday as part of the PCB’s COVID-19 protocols for the bilateral series 
  • The series begins with one-dayer on Friday 

RAWALPINDI: All 107 COVID-19 tests conducted on Zimbabwe and Pakistan players, support staff and match officials have returned negative ahead of the limited-overs series starting later this week, the Pakistan Cricket Board said Tuesday.
The tests were conducted Monday as part of the PCB’s COVID-19 protocols for the bilateral series.
All players, officials and staff have moved into a hub in a five-star hotel in Islamabad, the PCB said, and “are now allowed to interact with each other and move freely within the bio-secure bubble.”
Both teams will start training Tuesday at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, which will host the three ODIs and three Twenty20 internationals.
The series begins with one-dayer on Friday. Lahore was originally scheduled to host the Twenty20 series but those matches were shifted because of expected smog next month.