ISLAMABAD - A spokesman for the Ministry of Interior has denied a news item which appeared in various sections of the Press, the other day, regarding meeting of Afghan officials with the Taliban’s former second-in-command Mullah Abdul Baradar who is in detention in Pakistan.

The spokesman further clarified that Interior Minister Rehman Malik did not confirm any such statement given by Rangin Spanta, the national Security Adviser to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, that Afghan delegation met with Mullah Baradar in Pakistan.

Spanta had told Reuters in Kabul that Afghan delegation had spoken to him to know his views on peace talks.

He further said that the Ministry had denied the news item appearing in various sections of the print and electronic media and had termed it absolutely baseless. An official with the Afghan High Peace Council, Ismail Qasemyar, said Sunday that members of the Afghan Embassy in Pakistan met with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, but declined to give further details. The US has lately warmed up to the Taliban to negotiate fruitfullyin order to safely withdraw troops from the embattled region.