London: Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, who is living in exile in Pakistan, has sent his son-in-law as part of a secret delegation which met British, American and German officials in Qatar this year, to broker an Afghan peace deal.
Mullah Omar gave his blessing to Afghan peace talks and sent Motasim Agha Jan as his ‘trusted envoy’ to the Gulf to make contact with Americans.
The Taliban leader’s son-in-law was among three emissaries sent for talks, according to Afghan sources familiar with the talks.
The presence of Agha Jan, who is married to one of Mullah Omar’s daughters, also appears to corroborate claims of the leader’s endorsement.
A long-time confidant of Mullah Omar, Agha Jan was appointed to the head of the Taliban’s political commission in 2008, and would have been in charge of prospective contacts with western governments and Kabul.
Diplomats insist the discussions in Qatar and at least one meeting in Germany are just “talks about talks”, The Scotsman reports.
Agha Jan’s presence in Qatar may also reveal something of Pakistan’s hidden hand in efforts to end the decade-long war.
The former Taliban finance minister, now thought to rank around seventh on the insurgents’ leadership council, was arrested in Pakistan last year. It is not clear when, or why he was released, or how he got out of Pakistan for the talks.
Local media reports said he was detained in Karachi in February 2010 as part of a series of raids, which also captured the Taliban’s second-in-command, Abdul Ghani Baradar.