Khalilzad 'Appreciates' Pakistan's Efforts For Afghan Peace

Breakthrough between Afghan government and Taliban over peace talks

Breakthrough between Afghan government and Taliban over peace talks

The emphasis on negotiations among Afghans comes as the Taliban refuse to sit down for talks with the internationally recognized government of President Ashraf Ghani, despite U.S. appeals.

Mr Khalilzad would fly back to Kabul on Saturday (today). A meeting between his team and a Taliban delegation was expected in Doha around the weekend, but apparently that has been delayed.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's mandate officially expires in May.

Zalmay Khalilzad took to the twitter saying that he just had wrapped up two days in Islamabad and thanked Pakistan for its recent efforts supporting the Afghan peace process.

This comes as Khalilzad, during his five-day stay in Kabul, met with Afghan leaders, politicians, civil society members, youths, women and tribal elders where they exchanged views on Afghanistan's peace process. However, it remains to be seen if the Ghani administration will agree to it.

In the meantime, Pakistan's foreing minister has said that he was "optimistic" despite the challenges and presence of forces that would try to impede the process.

Khalilzad had also held a meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi earlier to brief him about progress in the Afghan peace process.

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Khalilzad further said that there was always more work to be done in this regard.

The trip was "part of an overall effort to facilitate a peace process that brings all Afghan parties together in inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations", the State Department had said.

He said that intra-Afghan dialogue is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

"Pakistan has no other interest in Afghanistan but to promote peace through an "Afghan owned" and "Afghan led" political process".

Prior to his meetings with General Bajwa and FM Qureshi, Ambassador Khalilzad had delegation-level talks with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.

Ambassador Khalilzad was accompanied by an interagency delegation, while Foreign Secretary Janjua was assisted by senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence. The visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan's efforts towards peace process, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a press release on Friday, April 6. The premier also said he had canceled a scheduled meeting with Taliban leaders because of objections by the Afghan government.

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