Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday assured visiting US special envoy on Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, that Pakistan would keep up efforts to facilitate the Afghan peace process.
Khalilzad, who is on a two-week-long tour of Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and China for talks on the peace process — which has suffered a setback because of the Taliban’s persistent refusal to directly talk to the Afghan government in Kabul — arrived in Islamabad on Thursday for talks with top civilian and military leadership.
The envoy is accompanied by a US interagency delegation representing the Departments of Defence and State, and the National Security Council.
Both sides, during a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, discussed progress made in the peace process so far. Qureshi told Khalilzad that Pakistan’s efforts to bring peace and stability to the region would remain ongoing.
The foreign minister said that establishing peace in Afghanistan was the responsibility of all stakeholders.
Khalilzad thanked Qureshi for facilitating direct talks between the US government and the Afghan Taliban.
He added that that American leadership values Pakistan’s endeavours for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said that during Friday’s meeting with Qureshi, Khalilzad briefed him “on his recent engagements in the region for an Afghan peace and reconciliation process”.
Khalilzad met Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa upon arrival in Islamabad on Thursday.
He has been tasked with brokering a political solution to the Afghan conflict and has held multiple meetings with the leadership of Afghanistan as well as that of other countries in the region, including Pakistan.
He has also held three rounds of talks with the Afghan Taliban in order to reach a settlement that would allow the US to withdraw its army and end a 17-year-old war — America’s longest.