US envoy Khalilzad meets Pakistan Army chief to discuss Afghan peace process

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RAWALPINDI – Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation and General Austin Scott Miller, Commander Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) at GHQ on Monday.

According to Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), matters of mutual interest, regional security and ongoing Afghanistan Reconciliation Process were discussed during the meeting.

The visiting dignitary greatly appreciated Pakistan’s role in the ongoing peace process, it added.

Last week, the US special envoy to Afghanistan held talks with the Afghan Taliban in Qatar in a bid to restart the stalled peace talks and meet the deadline for troop withdrawal,.

He had also held talks earlier this week with Afghan leaders in Kabul, including President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, chair of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation which oversees the government’s talks with the Taliban in Qatar.

Taliban spokesman Muhamad Naeem tweeted that Khalilzad and the top US general in Afghanistan met with the group’s negotiating team in Doha, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, late Friday.

“Both sides expressed their commitment to the Doha agreement and discussed its full implementation.

Likewise, the current situation of Afghanistan and the rapidity and effectiveness of the Intra-Afghan negotiations were discussed,” he wrote.

Speculation is rife over America’s future in Afghanistan, after the White House announced plans to review a withdrawal deal brokered by Khalilzad and the Taliban in Doha last year.

Under that agreement, the US is set to withdraw from Afghanistan in May, but a surge in fighting has sparked concerns as peace talks between the Kabul government and Taliban continue to stall.

The accord states that the US will withdraw all troops from Afghanistan, with the Taliban promising not to allow territory to be used by terrorists — the original goal of the US invasion following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

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