Kabul- An Afghan Taliban spokesperson said today that a report stating the leadership of the faction is willing to hold peace talks with US officials is fabricated.

Zabiullah Mujahid said that reports of the faction pushing for peace talks are false. Earlier, senior Pakistani army and diplomatic officials quoted as saying that, the Afghan Taliban have signaled through the Pakistani military that they are willing to open peace talks , which could be held later in the day.

Sources within the Afghan Taliban had said their negotiators would hold the first round of peace talks with US officials in Qatar later on Thursday, although no comment was immediately available from US or Qatari officials. Previous efforts to negotiate an end to a war that began in late 2001 have proved fruitless, but the latest signals raised hopes of a much-needed boost for new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.