MONITORING (SW) – Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, has held meeting with military and civilian leadership in Pakistan for talks on Afghanistan.
According to a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, in his meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and other government officials, Ambassador Khalilzad discussed the current status of the Afghan peace process and the importance of reducing violence. He also underscored the economic and security benefits peace can bring to the region, the statement said.
Welcoming Ambassador Khalilzad, Prime Minister Khan reiterated Pakistan’s steadfast and sincere support to the Afghan peace and reconciliation process launched since last year, said an official statement by the premier’s office. It said the Pakistani prime minister also underlined the need to overcome the difficulties in this regard so that an enduring political solution to the Afghan conflict could be achieved at the earliest.
The Prime Minister stressed that it was important for all sides to take practical steps for reduction of violence in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister further underscored that it was equally important to guard against the negative narratives and efforts by any quarter to undermine the progress made so far through painstaking efforts.
On Tuesday, the National Security Adviser, Hamdullah Mohib, said Ambassador Khalilzad’s latest trip was about the release of two American University of Afghanistan professors in the custody of the Taliban. He said the launch of peace talks has now been made conditional to at least a month-long ceasefire in a bid to prove the Taliban leader’s control over his forces. He added guarantees would be sought from the Taliban and Pakistan against not extending the war or keeping the terrorists’ training camps.