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Khalilzad seeks Pakistan military's help to push Afghanistan peace forward

IANS/Islamabad
Filed on November 3, 2020

(Agencies file)

Senior American diplomat met with the Pakistan Chief of Army Staff on Monday to discuss 'regional security situation'.

Senior American diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad who is the US special representative for Afghan reconciliation, has landed in Islamabad to meet with Pakistan government and militarys top brass to seek support towards a political solution to the ongoing unrest in Afghanistan.

Khalilzad, who landed in Islamabad on Monday, has met with the Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi where detailed discussion on the "regional security situation and Afghan peace process" was discussed.

"Regional security situation and Afghan peace process - with particular reference to border management - as well as way forward for a lasting peace in Afghanistan were discussed during the meeting," stated official press release of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

During the meeting, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt General Faiz Hameed and other senior officials were also present.

The ISPR maintained that Khalilzad appreciated Pakistan's efforts in facilitating the peace through dialogue process forward. While the ISPR press release did not share more details into the meeting, analysts say that the increase in short visits of Khalilzad to Pakistan are aimed at seeking help in persuading the Taleban for a ceasefire in Afghanistan.

"The flurry of visits by the top US diplomat is part of efforts to convince the Taleban for a ceasefire of at least reduction in violence," stated Kamran Yousaf, a senior analyst.

However, the Taleban till now have refrained from agreeing to announce the ceasefire, maintaining that it would be part of the overall agreement that may be reached trough the intra-Afghan dialogue, which are currently going on in Doha.

Even though Intra-Afghan dialogue are in process, terror attacks and loss of innocent lives has continued unabated in Afghanistan. On Monday, Kabul was rocked by a deadly terrorist attack, targeted at Kabul University, claiming several lives of students and teachers.

The Taleban, however, did not claim responsibility of the attack.

Pakistan condemned the attack calling it a "mindless terrorist attack".

"Pakistan strongly condemns the mindless attack at Kabul University today, resulting in loss of so many precious lives and injuries to many more. This act of terrorism is particularly despicable as it targeted an institution of learning," read a statement from the Pakistan foreign office.

It is believed that Washington has serious concerns over the ongoing violence in Afghanistan and Khalilzad's frequent visits and meeting with Pakistan's military establishment are aimed at seeking Islamabad's help to convince Taleban to either announce ceasefire or reduce terror attacks at a time when Intra-Afghan dialogue are in process.





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