KABUL, Afghanistan — Three Taliban leaders secretly met with Afghanistan's president two weeks ago in an effort to weaken the US-led coalition's most vicious enemy, a powerful al-Qaida linked network that straddles the border region with Pakistan.
Held in Kabul, the meeting included a wanted former Taliban governor and an imprisoned militant who were flown to the capital from the Pakistani city of Peshawar, according to a former Afghan official.
The talks were not directly linked to the Afghan government's efforts to broker a peace with the Taliban and find a political resolution to the insurgency. Rather, they were part of an effort to weaken the Haqqani network, the former official said over the weekend. A Western official, who spoke anonymously because he had no authority to discuss the talks, confirmed that a meeting between President Hamid Karzai and Taliban figures had taken place, but did not know its full details or the names of all the participants.