A new report indicating the Taliban are encircling Kabul has come out as Afghanistan is moving to hold meetings with militants, observers say.
A report released Monday from the International Council on Security and Development, a British think tank, says Taliban insurgents can now infiltrate Kabul at will, an assertion the government rejects, the BBC reported.
"The increase in their geographic spread illustrates that the Taliban's political, military and economic strategies are now more successful than the West's in Afghanistan," the report said.
"In addition to the questionable methodology of the report and its conceptual confusion, the report has misinterpreted the sporadic, terrorizing and media-oriented activities of the Taliban," a government spokesman told the broadcaster.
Meanwhile, a group of up to 40 Afghan officials and Taliban members are set to meet in Dubai, the BBC said. The meeting has been organized by the son-in-law of one of Afghanistan's most notorious pro-Taliban warlords and has the support of Washington, the broadcaster reported.
Expectations, however, are said to be low in what is being called a first step in negotiations with Afghan militants.