KABUL -- Afghanistan's High Peace Council (HPC) says Taliban leaders have begun discussions among themselves about peace talks before they openly engage in the peace process, Ariana News reported Wednesday (October 3), citing Afghan officials.
"The Taliban leaders have given a green light for starting peace talks, and their bargaining has started," Akram Khpalwak, chief of HPC's secretariat and advisor to President Ashraf Ghani, said Wednesday.
Efforts have [also] increased in the region and all sides are supporting the peace process in Afghanistan, according to HPC Chairman Mohammad Karim Khalili.
Separately, Maulana Sami ul Haq, a Pakistani religious scholar often called the spiritual father of the Taliban, expressed his support for the Afghan peace process.
"I have consulted with 20 ... religious scholars who came to Pakistan from Afghanistan," he said in reference to an HPC delegation that visited Pakistan in late September, according to Ariana News. "We told them that the aim of Pakistan and Afghanistan is the same."
Is a peace deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban possible before the presidential election in April?