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Afghan Taliban Deny Taking Orders From Pakistan

The Afghan Taliban are denying reports they obtained permission from Pakistan to send representatives to Qatar for confidence-building talks that the United States has been hoping might lead to a peace deal in Afghanistan.

A statement posted on a Taliban website said the militant group makes "decisions of its own likings in all matters and affairs in light of Islamic principles and national interests."

Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan, Mohammad Sadiq, told Reuters earlier this week that his government had supported the outlines of a possible peace agreement in Afghanistan.

Sadiq said that position allowed some Taliban to travel to Qatar talks.

Washington's hopes for a peace deal faded in March when the reclusive Taliban leadership, thought to be in Pakistan, suspended their participation in the Qatar talks.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and "Dawn"