US special envoy meets Pakistan PM, calls for ‘tangible steps’ to support Afghan peace

US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad called for the need for “tangible steps” in support of the Afghan peace process on a visit to Pakistan on Monday where he met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa

Jul 20, 2021
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US special envoy meets Pakistan PM

US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad called for the need for “tangible steps” in support of the Afghan peace process on a visit to Pakistan on Monday where he met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Khalilzad on his trip stressed  “the urgency of a comprehensive political settlement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban, one that leads to a sustainable peace and preserves Afghanistan’s security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity,” the US Embassy in Islamabad said in a statement.

“Tangible and material support for the Afghanistan peace process is vital for its ultimate success, as are positive long-term relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” it added.

In a tweet on Monday, Khalilzad said both US and Pakistan welcomed the meeting in Doha as a positive development, adding “more must be done, urgently.”

The talks centered on the prevailing situation in Afghanistan and the need for expediting the Afghan peace process, the Office of Pakistan’s Prime Minister said in a statement. Khan also reiterated his country’s commitment to supporting the peace process in Afghanistan. 

Significantly, the visit also came at a time when the relations between Kabul and Islamabad nosedived, first due to what Kabul says non-cooperation from Islamabad to end the Taliban sanctuaries inside Pakistan; second, after the alleged abduction and torture of the daughter of Afghan envoy in Pakistan. 

Last week, Afghanistan recalled all its all senior diplomats from Islamabad which was followed by a tit-for-tat move from Pakistan. 

(SAM)