SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK:The talks which were scheduled to kick off from Friday in Doha were delayed citing Taliban’s objections over a 250-member Afghan delegation.

A senior Afghan government official in Kabul said “the gathering has been called off for now and details were being reworked.”

The Afghan government published on Tuesday a long list of delegates who were to meet with the Taliban in Doha this week to discuss the most-awaited peace process in the war-torn country.

According to a roster issued by the presidential palace on Tuesday, the Afghan delegation comprised 250 people, including top government officials – President Ashraf Ghani’s chief of staff, Abdul Salam Rahimi, as well as his election running mate, Amrullah Saleh, the former head of Afghan intelligence, alongside 52 women.

However, the Taliban were displeased seeing the scores of intending guest, saying it was not “normal” and that they had “no plans” to meet with so many people.

“The creators of (the) Kabul list must realise that this is an orderly and prearranged conference in a far-away Khaleeji (Gulf) country and not an invitation to some wedding or other party at a hotel in Kabul,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.