Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday and held discussions with top civilian leaders.

During his meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the US envoy reiterated US President Donald Trump’s desire to seek Pakistan’s cooperation for peace and stability in Afghanistan; Qureshi assured the US side of Pakistan’s unwavering support for a negotiated settlement in the war-battered area.

The US envoy also held a meeting with Pakistani Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua in which officials from diplomatic, security and defence from both sides were present.

President Trump approaches PM Imran for help in Afghan peace talks

According to Foreign Office spokesman, Dr Mohammad Faisal peace and political settlement in Afghanistan were discussed during the huddle.

Khalilzad, accompanied by an inter-agency delegation, will travel to Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar during his 18-day tour, from Dec 2 to 20.

“Special Representative Khalilzad will be in communication with President Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah, and other Afghan stakeholders to coordinate closely on efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table with the Afghan government and other Afghans,” a US State Department press release stated.

The US special representative to Afghanistan will meet Afghan government officials and other parties to work on Afghan peace process for which the Trump administration, as well as Russia, is toiling hard.

Khalilzad last visited the region in November, where he met with members of the Afghan civil society and other government officials to find common grounds for peace talks.

Khalilzad’s visit comes days after US President Donald Trump wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan seeking Pakistan’s assistance in the Afghan peace process.

The US president has also sought Pakistan’s assistance to bring the Taliban leadership to the negotiating table, Imran Khan disclosed in a conversation withTV anchors.

Trump’s letter comes on the heels of accusations by the Republican leader who alleged that Pakistan had done nothing for US.

In an interview with Fox News on Nov 18, the US leader had referred to the suspension of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) and defended his move to block the release of funds to Islamabad.