US top diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad held important meeting with COAS General Bajwa in GHQ

US top diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad held important meeting with COAS General Bajwa in GHQ

RAWALPINDI – US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad appreciated Pakistan's untiring efforts for facilitating the process towards the mutual objective of peace in the region.

According Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the US peace envoy stated this during a meeting with General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) at GHQ on Monday.

Regional security situation, Afghan peace process with particular reference to border management and way forward for lasting peace in Afghanistan were discussed during the meeting.

Under that agreement, all foreign forces are to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in return for counterterrorism guarantees from the Taliban, which has pledged to negotiate a permanent cease-fire and a power-sharing agreement with the Afghan government.

Afghan Peace Talks

Following a peace deal reached in February 2020 between the US and the Taliban, negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban directly opened in September with an aim to end nearly 19-year-old conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

Under the deal, both parties also swapped prisoners to make headway for the talks.

The direct negotiations between the Afghan government representatives and the Taliban seems in danger as both sides are in deadlock over the framework and agenda for the historic talks amid rising violence by the militant group.

Earlier this month, Zalmay Khalilzad Khalilzad said that the "window to achieve a political settlement will not stay open forever". He urged both parties to "move past procedure and into substantive negotiations."