Wednesday 18 September 2019

US envoy on Afghan peace in Pakistan for talks over Taliban

Zalmay Khalilzad is in Islamabad for discussions on how to bring the Taliban to peace talks.

Washington and Kabul have long accused Islamabad of turning a blind eye to the Afghan Taliban, whose leadership is based in Pakistan (Donall Farmer/PA)
Washington and Kabul have long accused Islamabad of turning a blind eye to the Afghan Taliban, whose leadership is based in Pakistan (Donall Farmer/PA)

By Associated Press Reporters

The US special envoy tasked with finding a negotiated end to Afghanistan’s 17-year-old war has met with Pakistan’s foreign secretary, security and army officials.

Zalmay Khalilzad is in Islamabad for discussions on how to bring the Taliban to peace talks and his arrival comes a day after US President Donald Trump wrote a letter to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, seeking his co-operation.

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US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Mr Khalilzad is also expected to meet with Mr Khan.

The US Embassy did not share any details about the talks, and Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Faisal, said that the two sides held detailed discussions on peace and a political settlement in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The US State Department said the special envoy will also travel to Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in stepped-up efforts to find a peaceful end to the Afghan war.

Washington and Kabul have long accused Islamabad of turning a blind eye to the Afghan Taliban, whose leadership is based in Pakistan.

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The aftermath of a recent Taliban suicide bomb attack in Kabul (AP)

Islamabad has always denied the allegations, pointing to its efforts to combat home-grown extremists who have carried out hundreds of attacks inside Pakistan.

On Monday, Mr Khan told reporters that his government will do whatever was possible to ensure peace in Afghanistan.

PA Media

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