Amid stalled peace process, key players hold talks with Pakistan

Russian Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, and US Centcom chief  Gen Kenneth McKenzie visited Islamabad over the weeend amid the stalled Afghan Peace Process and uncertainty over the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan

Feb 21, 2021
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Russian Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, and US Centcom chief  Gen Kenneth McKenzie visited Islamabad over the weeend amid the stalled Afghan Peace Process and uncertainty over the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. Both men held talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss the Afghan situation.

The visit comes after NATO, during its defense ministers’ meet, ruled out taking any decision on troop withdrawal from the war-torn country. Under the Doha accord, the US and other international forces are expected to withdraw from Afghanistan by 1 May this year.

The US and NATO as well as the Afghan government now accuse the Taliban of not living up to the pledge. Taliban has been accused of not reducing the violence as well as cutting ties to terrorist groups.

Both NATO and the US asked the Taliban to reduce violence in Afghanistan. 

Interestingly, the Russian special envoy empathized with the Taliban viewpoint and instead accused the US of not adhering to the Doha agreement. Kubulov, in an interview to Russian state-run media, proposed forming an interim government in Afghanistan.

“The visiting dignitary appreciated the positive role being played by Pakistan for the Afghan peace process and expressed that, Pak-Russia relations will continue to prosper manifolds,” according to the statement,” a statement released by the ISPR reads. 

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