Alice Wells in Islamabad to talk on Afghan peace

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice Wells arrived here on Monday for crucial talks to explore possibility of resuming the Afghan reconciliation process.
Wells is scheduled to meet senior officials at the Foreign Office as well as military authorities.
Pakistan is confident that the Taliban could be brought to the negotiating table after the successful ceasefire observed by the Afghan government and insurgents on Eid.
Sources familiar with the efforts to bring the Taliban back to the negotiating table said both Afghanistan and the United States wanted to reach some kind of deal with the Taliban before the parliamentary elections due later this year.
During several rounds of discussions between Pakistani and Afghan officials, both sides discussed and worked out a roadmap how to invite the Taliban to join the political process.
The Afghan president on Saturday confirmed that Pakistan and Afghanistan made considerable progress on how to achieve peace in the war-torn country. “Against this backdrop, the visit of Ambassador Wells holds great significance,” commented a senior Foreign Office official while requesting anonymity. The official said despite the recent hiccup in ties, Pakistan and the US were still working closely to find a common ground on Afghanistan. Ambassador Alice Wells during his visit to Kabul on Saturday stated that American leadership desires decisive moves in the peace talks. Wells said there was widespread support for peace, underlined by scenes of unarmed fighters mingling with government troops and civilians on the streets of Afghan cities during Eid.

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