Islamabad, Dec. 5 -- The U.S. special envoy tasked with finding a negotiated end to Afghanistan's bloody 17-year-old war met Tuesday with Pakistani officials, and a Taliban official said four members from the group's political office in the Middle Eastern state of Qatar were also in the Pakistani capital.

But the visit by the Taliban leaders, which included a former Taliban ambassador and a former governor who is also on a United Nations sanctions list, is "private," the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

Pakistan routinely tells a grumbling Washington that its influence over the Taliban is exaggerated, yet in the past has exhibited sufficient sway over the in...