Afghan peace process: US special envoy Khalilzad arrives in Pakistan

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Islamabad, Jan 17 (IANS) US President Donald Trump’s Special Envoy on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Pakistan on Thursday to discuss with the senior civil and military leadership the latest efforts to bring peace to the war-torn country.

The US envoy was initially scheduled to arrive in the federal capital on Tuesday. However, the visit was rescheduled after Khalilzad was said to be engaged in meetings in Kabul, Geo News reported.

He was expected to discuss the Afghan peace process, talks with the Taliban and the US Army’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The Express Tribune cited the US diplomatic officials in Pakistan as saying that Khalilzad was likely to push Pakistani officials to ensure the Afghan Taliban’s involvement in the peace process.

They said senior US State Department official Lisa Curtis will also be part of all the meetings, according to the daily.

Khalilzad, who met Taliban representatives last month in Abu Dhabi, is leading an inter-agency delegation to India, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan from January 8-21 to “facilitate a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan”.

His trip comes after the US President signalled that he would bring home half of the 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan as he grows increasingly impatient over America’s longest-ever war.

Trump had also criticized India earlier, saying that it is not doing enough for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

In response, New Delhi had said that it does not send troops abroad except under a specific UN mandate.



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