US seeks firm guarantees from Pakistan and Afghanistan

US seeks firm guarantees from Pakistan and Afghanistan
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*ISLAMABAD: *The United States is seeking firm guarantees both from Afghanistan and Pakistan that “neither side’s territory is used to threaten the other’s” in what is seen as a crucial aspect of a possible Afghan peace deal.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have often blamed each other for harbouring militant groups involved in cross border attacks, something that undermined bilateral relationship between the two neighbours.

The issue has been one of the talking points the US is currently having with Pakistan and Afghanistan on the Afghan endgame.

This was now confirmed by Zalmay Khalilzad , the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, in a statement issued here on Friday by the US Embassy.

Khalilzad wrapped up his latest trip to Islamabad where he held talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and also separately met Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Before departing for Doha on Friday, Khalilzad interacted with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

“As Ambassador Khalilzad discussed in Afghanistan and Pakistan, consolidating peace will require reliable assurances from Afghanistan and Pakistan that neither side’s territory is used to threaten the other’s,” according to the US embassy handout.

“Such assurances on top of an intra-Afghan comprehensive peace agreement will allow for increased regional economic integration, connectivity, and development,” the statement quoted Khalilzad as saying.

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