Afghan President Hamid Karzai has sacked his attorney general after the chief law officer held an unsanctioned meeting with Taliban peace negotiators, a senior Afghan official and a legislator said.
Attorney General Muhammad Isaaq Aloko met members of a Taliban peace negotiation team in the United Arab Emirates despite being told not to attend the meeting, the official told Reuters news agency on Monday.
"He was instructed not to go," said the official, who declined to be identified.
A prominent member of parliament also said Aloko had been sacked.
The senior Afghan official said some senior cabinet members were trying to persuade Karzai to reverse his decision to dismiss Aloko who had been Karzai's attorney general since 2008.
But an official in Aloko's office denied that his boss had been dismissed, saying he was at the Presidential Palace "celebrating Independence Day" on Monday.
Critical peace process
Peace talks between the Karzai administration and the Taliban are seen as crucial to averting another round of war as Afghanistan's NATO-led force prepares to end its military mission by the end of next year.
Talks with the Taliban began in 2010 but they have been marked by a series of missteps, delays and allegations of plotting and interference.
Karzai will travel to Pakistan on August 26-28 in an attempt to patch up ties and breathe life into the stalled Afghan peace process.