The Taliban in Afghanistan has refused to be take part in peace talks until foreign forces withdraw themselves completely. According to a spokesman, the talks are not possible as long as there is foreign occupation.

“No one has been tasked by our leader to attend the meeting nor has the leadership council decided on the participation of the meeting,” Bloomberg quotes Zabihullah Mujahed as saying. The spokesman also demanded innocent Taliban prisoners to be freed.

A statement from the Taliban emphasises its stance once again. ““We want to repeat our stance once again that until the occupation of foreign troops ends, until Taliban names are removed from international blacklists and until our detainees are released, talks will yield no results,” the militant group said.

Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, did not discuss the issue of taking part in the peace talks. The Taliban statement also says that the “leadership council of the Islamic Emirate” did not discuss the matter.

“We unequivocally state that the esteemed leader of Islamic Emirate has not authorised anyone to participate in this meeting and neither has the Leadership Council of Islamic Emirate decided to partake in it.”

The group is supposed to attend peace talks with representatives from China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States, together called as the Quadrilateral Coordination Group. The peace talks are scheduled to be held in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital.

The refusal from the extremist group, which allegedly sheltered Osama bin Laden prior to the 9/11 attack, marks a setback for the QCG. QCG delegates met in Kabul earlier in February.

NATO ended its combat operations more than a year back. Since then, the Taliban has managed to secure a number of military victories, The Nation reports.

The Taliban, accusing the US of duplicity, slams Washington for increasing airstrikes, boosting troop numbers and night raids against the group while engaging in peace talks.