Taliban talking secretly to Kabul government

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — There’s word that the Taliban have held secret talks with representatives of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

According to Afghan officials and a senior Taliban representative, it’s an effort to jumpstart a peace process that stumbled and stalled at the starting gate.

The talks with members of the Afghan High Peace Council have so far been unofficial and preliminary. They are seen as an attempt to agree on conditions for formal talks.

But they suggest an interest on both sides in pursuing a peace process that has been mired in controversy since the opening of a Taliban political office in June in the Gulf nation of Qatar.

Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry sought Pakistan’s help to press the Taliban into opening negotiations with Karzai’s representatives. The Taliban’s leadership is believed to be living in Pakistan.

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