By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan and the United States have agreed to push for the ‘intra-Afghan dialogue’ to seek a political solution to the lingering war in Afghanistan, even as both sides struggled to convince the Taliban for direct talks with the Kabul administration.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, during a meeting with visiting US Special Represenatative, Zalmay Khalilzad on Friday, assured that Pakistan would keep up efforts to facilitate the Afghan peace process, according to media reports.
Khalilzad, who is on a two-week-long tour of Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and China for talks on the peace process 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.