Arsala Rahmani was a "key negotiator" in the High Peace Council (HPC) established by Karzai to hold talks with the insurgents.
A senior Afghan peace negotiator and close ally of President Hamid Karzai was shot dead in Kabul on Sunday, dealing a major blow to Kabul's efforts to broker peace with Taliban insurgents.
Arsala Rahmani, a former minister in the Taliban regime, was a "key negotiator" in the High Peace Council (HPC) established by Karzai to hold talks with the insurgents.
"Shortly after leaving home he was hit by a single bullet from a passing car" as he was driving to work, Rahmani's grandson Mohammad Waris said.
"The bullet passed through his left arm and hit his heart. He died in the hospital."
The Taliban, who have waged a decade-long insurgency aimed at toppling Karzai's government, threatened earlier this month to target members of the HPC as part of their "spring offensive".
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed, however, denied involvement in Sunday's assassination.
The HPC was established by Karzai in 2010 to negotiate peace with the Taliban and other insurgents waging war against his administration and some 130,000 U.S.-led NATO troops.
Rahmani "had recently established contacts with senior Taliban leaders", a senior security official said.
The Taliban have publicly rejected Karzai's calls for peace, calling him a puppet of the Americans and insisting on the complete withdrawal of Western troops. – AFP
The bullet passed through his left arm and hit his heart. He died in the hospital