Pakistan, US review Afghan peace process

Updated 08 Jun 2020

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Khalilzad, Bajwa agree to work for mutually agreed goals. — APP/File
Khalilzad, Bajwa agree to work for mutually agreed goals. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Reviewing the progress in the Afghan reconciliation process, Pakistan and the United States on Sunday agreed to continue working towards “mutually agreed goals” defined in the landmark peace deal between the US and Taliban in Doha in February.

The resolve to continue working together for bringing peace to the war-torn neighbouring country was made by US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Dr Zalmay Khalilzad and Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa during a meeting, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations.

Khalilzad, Bajwa agree to work for mutually agreed goals

“The matters of mutual interest, overall regional security situation, including Afghan refugees issue, Afghan reconciliation process and Pak-Afghan border management were discussed during the meeting between Gen Bajwa and Dr Khalilzad. Both shared steps taken in this regard and agreed to continue working towards mutually agreed goals,” the ISPR said.

It was the second meeting between the army chief and the US special envoy in less than a month as their last meeting took place on May 8 when Dr Khalilzad visited Pakistan after a meeting with Taliban leaders in Doha and a stopover in New Delhi, where he met Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

During the previous meeting, Gen Bajwa had said that Pakistan’s support for the Afghan reconciliation process was a proof of its sincerity for peace in Afghanistan, adding that “Pakistan’s support towards peace process is a manifestation of our goodwill towards the cause”.

Dr Khalilzad, according to the ISPR, had praised Pakistan’s continuing efforts for peace and stability in the region.

Pakistan had facilitated the long-drawn US-Taliban talks, which culminated with the signing of a landmark peace deal in Doha in February between the two adversaries that have been at war for 19 years. Under the deal, the Afghan Taliban gave counterterrorism assurances and agreed to engage in dialogue with the Afghan government for ending war. The peace agreement was expected to pave the way for withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2020