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Pakistan arrests Afghan Taliban leader in apparent bid to bolster peace talks

Pakistan Forward

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan has arrested Hafiz Mohibullah, a senior Afghan Taliban member, in an attempt to pressure the militant group to engage in negotiations, the BBC reported Tuesday (January 15).

Mohibullah, who served as a religious affairs minister during the Taliban's regime of 1996 to 2001, was arrested in Peshawar.

Although details of the arrest, including its date, were unclear, it came ahead of a planned visit to Pakistan by US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. He has conferred on multiple occasions with Taliban representatives in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Khalilzad was expected to visit Islamabad Wednesday (January 16), but his trip was delayed, Geo News reported.

As the United States presses the Afghan Taliban to engage in direct talks with the Afghan government, it wants Pakistan to encourage the militant group to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan.

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