Pakistan backs peace in Afghanistan, Imran Khan tells US special envoy 

Imran Khan "reiterated Pakistan's abiding interest in achieving peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan through a political settlement," according to a statement by the PM Office.

Published: 05th December 2018 07:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th December 2018 07:36 PM   |  A+A-

imran_khan_pakistan_pm_photo

Pakistan PM Imran Khan (Photo | Facebook)

By PTI

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan told America's special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on Wednesday that peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan is in Islamabad's abiding interest and he will continue to support peace efforts in the war-torn neighbouring country.

Khan held talks with Khalilzad, who arrived here on Tuesday to coordinate closely with the Pakistani leadership on the US efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table to end the 17-year-long war in Afghanistan.

The prime minister "reiterated Pakistan's abiding interest in achieving peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan through a political settlement," according to a statement by the PM Office.

ALSO READ | 

"Pakistan wants a political solution to Afghan peace and reconciliation," he told Khalilzad. During the meeting, the US special envoy conveyed President Donald Trump's best wishes. The US leadership is looking for a peaceful solution to the Afghan peace process and mutual cooperation between the two sides," Khalilzad told the premier.

ALSO READ | Opposition mocks Pakistan PM's poultry-based poverty alleviation programme, Imran Khan hits back

Khalilzad also met Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and reiterated President Trump's desire to seek Pakistan's cooperation for peace and stability in Afghanistan, according to a Foreign Office spokesman.

"The FM assured the US side of Pakistan's steadfast support for a negotiated settlement," said the spokesman.

"Pakistan will continue to cooperate with sincerity for political settlement in Afghanistan. Long-lasting peace in Afghanistan is in Pakistan's best interest," Qureshi tweeted.

Khalilzad also held a meeting with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, where officials from diplomatic, security and defense from both sides present at the meeting.

"Peace and political settlement in Afghanistan was discussed," according to the spokesman.

Pakistan is accused by both US and Afghanistan of supporting the Taliban who have waged a more than the 17-year old insurgency.

Pakistan maintains that the Taliban have long shifted to Afghanistan where they control a sizeable area and that it has little control over them.

Khalilzad arrived here a day after Pakistan announced that President Trump has written a letter to Prime Minister Khan, seeking Islamabad's "assistance and facilitation in achieving a negotiated settlement of the Afghan war".

Khan told the media on Monday that resolution of conflict in Afghanistan was also in the best interest of Pakistan, which always made serious efforts to bring peace in the neighbouring country.

Khalilzad will also travel to other regional countries including Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to seek support for his mission.

Afghan-origin Khalilzad served as a special envoy of President George W Bush following the fall of the Taliban government in 2001.

ALSO READ | Pakistan's mindset has 'changed', ready to meet PM Modi for talks: Imran Khan

He also served as US ambassador to Afghanistan. He is seen in Pakistan as a hawk who has often accused Islamabad of supporting Taliban militants.

It's his second visit to Pakistan following his appointment as special representative and reflects the Trump administration's intent to support, facilitate, and participate in a peace process in Afghanistan.

After his first trip in October, Pakistan announced that it released senior Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to help in the efforts of peace in Afghanistan.

Baradar, the former right-hand man of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, was among several senior Taliban leaders freed in recent months, after the Taliban demanded their release in direct talks with Khalilzad on October 12.

It is believed that Mulla Baradar's release would help persuade Afghan Taliban to lay down arms and negotiate in new peace talks.

 

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp