Khalilzad hails Pakistan's efforts for Afghan peace process

US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation met top civil-military leadership during his vist to Islamabad

Our Correspondent April 07, 2019
United States Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad thanked Pakistan for its efforts to support the ongoing Afghan peace process as he wrapped up his two-day visit to Islamabad on Saturday.

Khalilzad wrote on the microblogging website Twitter that he appreciated Pakistan for re-affirming that "Afghans alone" would determine their future. He stressed that there was always more work to be done in this regard.

“Just wrapped up two days in #Islamabad. Thanked #Pakistan for recent efforts supporting the #AfghanPeaceProcess and for re-affirming the understanding that ultimately Afghans, and Afghans alone, will determine their future. Always more work to be done. Back to #Kabul!” he wrote.

The US Embassy in Islamabad said in a statement that Khalilzad met Pakistan's foreign secretary and the chief of army staff during his two-day visit to Islamabad. It added that both sides had emphasized that peace in Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan.

Khalilzad thanked Pakistan for facilitating travel of the Taliban team for the talks, the embassy said, adding that the US expected that Pakistan would continue its positive role in the Afghan peace process.

US envoy Khalilzad departs on four-nation tour for dialogue on Afghan conflict

Afghan Peace Process

The US envoy is on a mission to expedite the Afghan peace process as the war in the war-torn country enters its 19th year. He has held a series of meetings with the Pakistani leadership as part of Washington’s renewed push to bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table.

The latest push for peace came after President Donald Trump wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, seeking Pakistan’s help for the negotiated settlement of the Afghan conflict.

In the letter, the United States had sought PM Imran's full support to advance Afghan peace process. The correspondence came after Trump accused Pakistan of "doing nothing" despite receiving "billions of dollars" in aid.

The premier had hit back to the allegations by advising Washington to assess its efficiency in the war on terror instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for its failure.

Although both the US and Pakistan now have a commonality of views on seeking a political solution to the Afghan problem, the trust deficit between the two is the real stumbling block. Relations between the two countries are tense despite recent efforts to reset the troubled ties.

At the heart of their stalemate is the US insistence on Pakistan to do more to bring the Afghan Taliban on to the negotiating table. Washington still believes that Islamabad holds considerable sway over the insurgent group.


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