Zalmay Khalilzad in Pakistan for Talks on Afghan Peace

January 17, 2019

Kabul- U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad and the top NATO commander in Afghanistan met Pakistani officials on Thursday as they pursued diplomatic efforts to push forward talks with the Afghan Taliban.

Khalilzad, who has been leading efforts to broker an agreement with the Taliban, met the chief of the Pakistan army staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa along with Gen. Scott Miller, commander of the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, and Lisa Curtis, senior director for South and Central Asia at the U.S. National Security Council.

On Thursday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and “expressed his gratitude for Pakistan’s sincere facilitation of these efforts”, according to a statement from the Pakistan government spokesman’s office.

The two leaders also issued invitations to visit their respective countries and agreed “to remain engaged and create an environment for resolving all outstanding issues”, it said.

Pakistani officials deny supporting the Taliban and say Islamabad is strongly in favor of a settlement that would maintain stability in Afghanistan. However, the ground realities had always contradicted to the official and hollow statements of Pakistani officials on peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has neither brought nor implemented fundamental changes in its policy of state terrorism in Afghanistan.

The date of Khalilzad’s next meeting with Taliban officials remains unclear after the insurgents threatened to stall the process over disagreements about plans to withdraw international forces from Afghanistan. Although, the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces have already been chasing terrorists across the country’s valleys and mountains, but the withdrawal of US forces from the war-devastated country could also be suicidal for the US and the rest of the civilized world.

The presence of US led NATO troops in Afghanistan is authorized and legislated by the government and people of Afghanistan. So, the hostile neighborhood and enemies of Afghanistan should not be objected to US troops presence.

According to pundits, materialization of the unpopular decision, made by the US President of withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan could level a ground for more violence and interference of regional and international players in Afghanistan.

Afghans want the international community to not throw them before the wolves, rather help them to eliminate state terrorism and bring the terror sponsor states to the book.

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