Ground Report | New Delhi: CIA chief; The Washington Post reports that US President Joe Biden sent the head of the country’s intelligence agency, the CIA, to meet with a senior Afghan Taliban leader on Monday. The Washington Post quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying that CIA Director William Burns met with Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul on Monday, according to Reuters.
Reuters could not immediately confirm the report, and CIA and White House officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. This development comes at a time when the final date for the withdrawal of other foreign forces from Afghanistan, including the United States, is approaching and all countries are busy expelling their citizens and diplomatic staff.
CIA chief had ‘secret meeting
Apart from Panjshir, the Taliban control several districts in Afghanistan and are in talks to form a new government by August 31 after the withdrawal of foreign troops. The new Afghan Taliban government is expected to include Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of its political office in Qatar.
Mullah Baradar is one of the founders of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan. They were in hiding when the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Then in 2010 Pakistani authorities announced his arrest in Karachi.
When negotiations with the Taliban began in 2013, the Taliban demanded the release of Mullah Baradar. The Afghan government also talked about the release of Mullah Baradar and then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had hinted at the release of Mullah Baradar but could not.
Finally, in October 2018, Pakistan released Mullah Baradar from prison and in 2019, talks between the Afghan Taliban and the United States began. Mullah Baradar also drafted the agreement that was reached before the US canceled the talks in 2019.