US envoy appreciates Pakistan's 'wholehearted support to peace process' as he wraps up two-day Islamabad visit

August 02, 2019

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Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa meeting with the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Friday. — ISPR
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa meeting with the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Friday. — ISPR

The United States special envoy for Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad on Friday "appreciated Pakistan's wholehearted support to the process" as he wrapped up a two-day visit to the country.

In a meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the US envoy also "expressed hope that others would follow in [the] same vein", according to a statement released by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The handout by the military's media wing said that the meeting was held in the backdrop of ongoing discussions and efforts underway to secure peace in Afghanistan.

"Both shared the steps taken in this regards and agreed to continue working towards mutually agreed goals," said the statement.

Gen Bajwa assured Khalilzad that Pakistan will play its role to its "fullest potential" for peace in Afghanistan and the region.

During his visit to Islamabad to discuss "developments in the Afghan peace process", Khalilzad also met with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, a statement by the US Embassy said.

During the discussions "Khalilzad outlined the positive momentum in the Afghan peace process and next steps."

The role Pakistan has played thus far, as well as additional positive steps it can take also came under deliberation.

"Consolidating peace will require reliable assurances from Afghanistan and Pakistan that neither side's territory is used to threaten the other's," read the US Embassy statement.

"Such assurances on top of an intra-Afghan comprehensive peace agreement will allow for increased regional economic integration, connectivity, and development," it concluded.

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Khalilzad had made a stop over in Islamabad, while on his way to Doha to resume peace talks with the Taliban.

“I'm off to Doha, with a stop in Islamabad. In Doha, if the Taliban do their part, we will do ours, and conclude the agreement we have been working on,” Khalilzad had said on Twitter.

He had termed his latest visit to Afghanistan as the "most productive" since he took up the office of the special representative.

Foreign Minister Qureshi, after meeting Khalilzad a day earlier, had "welcomed the progress achieved in the talks and the Intra-Afghan Peace Conference in Doha in which all participants agreed upon a basic roadmap", according to a Foreign Office press release.

It was noted during the meeting between the two that ultimately, the intra-Afghan dialogue would be vital to reach an agreement that brings peace and stability to Afghanistan.

Qureshi told Khalilzadad that Pakistan will continue to play its supportive role for "smooth progress and successful outcome" of the peace efforts.

"It was also stressed that taking the Afghan peace process forward remained a shared responsibility," the FO statement had said.