Senior Taliban figure to visit Islamabad for talks on TTP, reports say

Mullah Sherin Akhund, the Taliban’s governor for Kandahar, is expected to visit Islamabad early next month to address the stalemate over the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Pakistani media report.

Sherin’s visit will include meetings with intelligence and Foreign Office officials, following Taliban efforts to ease tensions with Pakistan regarding the TTP. The Taliban previously invited Maulana Fazlur Rehman of JUI-F to Kabul to help facilitate dialogue.

However, Pakistan’s Foreign Office downplayed the significance of Rehman’s trip, describing it as a private invitation.

Sherin, a prominent Taliban figure, has held various military and political roles within the group. His close ties to the leadership and involvement in key Taliban activities highlight his influence within their structure.

He has previously engaged with Pakistan and liaised with the TTP on behalf of the Taliban administration.

The deadlock over the TTP has strained Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, worsened by the TTP’s terrorist activities in Pakistan and Kabul’s perceived inaction against the group operating from Afghan territory.

Taliban Foreign Minister Mullah Muttaqi, in a conversation with Pakistani Senator Mushahid Hussain in Tehran, cited a lack of high-level communication between Islamabad and Kabul, leading to mutual accusations.

Pakistan has criticized the increase in TTP attacks following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, a claim the Taliban denies.