Kabul: The Taliban have reshuffled their team of negotiations ahead of their talks with the Afghan government, adding several powerful figures to their negotiating team.
The aides are all members of the group’s leadership council, which should help the team to make quicker decisions, two other sources in the Taliban movement who confirmed the move were quoted as saying by AFP.
The talks with Kabul were originally supposed to have started in March, but there have been repeated delays, with the Taliban accused of increasing violence.
The four new negotiators, who were appointed last month, are Taliban chief justice Sheikh Abdul Hakeem, Maulvi Saqib, former chief justice during the Taliban’s rule in the 1990s, Mullah Shireen, a close aide and bodyguard of the late Taliban founder Mullah Omar, and Maulvi Abdul Kabir, former governor of Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province.
The reshuffle also saw three to four earlier members of the team removed, including Mullah Amir Khan Muttaqi, a senior militant leader, the sources said.
It comes after Akhundzada appointed Mullah Yaqoob, the son of Mullah Omar, as head of the group’s military wing.