Anti-Taliban resistance leader Ahmad Massoud briefly visited Dushanbe for Afghan peace talks -- sponsored by Tajikistan and Pakistan -- but Taliban representatives failed to attend, Radio Liberty reported on October 13, citing sources close to the Tajik government.

Three sources told RFE/RL that Massoud's trip to Dushanbe took place shortly after Tajik President Emomali Rahmon said on September 17 that his country would host negotiations between the new Afghan rulers and Massoud's predominantly ethnic Tajik resistance force based in Afghanistan's Panjshir Province.

"We have agreed to facilitate negotiations between the Taliban and the [ethnic] Tajiks [in Afghanistan]," Rahmon announced at a press conference with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The sources in Dushanbe told RFE/RL on October 6 that Massoud arrived in Dushanbe "from Panjshir three days after Khan's visit to Tajikistan."

Khan's two-day official visit to Dushanbe coincided with a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit that began on September 16.

According to the officials, Massoud's trip to Tajikistan "lasted only a day and a half" and that he "returned to Afghanistan" after it became clear no Taliban representatives were coming to Dushanbe.

The officials said Dushanbe was assured by Pakistani authorities that the Taliban had agreed to send representatives to Dushanbe to meet Ahmad Massoud.  The officials in Dushanbe spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Pakistan’s The Express Tribune reported on September 18 that Pakistani Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry confirmed that Khan and Rahmon were ready to play a role in bringing the Taliban and ethnic Tajiks closer.  He described the announcement of possible talks with the Taliban in Dushanbe as a "historic step."

But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told RFE/RL on October 6 that the Taliban government "hasn't received such information so far."