US lauds Pakistan’s very crucial behind the scene role for Afghanistan endgame

US lauds Pakistan’s very crucial behind the scene role for Afghanistan endgame
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ISLAMABAD - United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Friday acknowledged Pakistan’s role as ‘a very crucial’ for the reconciliation process with the Taliban.

Weeks after initiating direct talks with the Taliban, wherein the two agreed on a framework of peace agreement, Trump Administration’s point person termed recent development as a positive change.

"We always would like Pakistan, like other countries to do more, but we appreciate what they have done so far and I have indicated and Secretary (of State), (Mike) Pompeo and the president that we want to have good relations with Pakistan, better relations with Pakistan," he said in response to a question on the role of Islamabad in his ongoing efforts to bring peace in this war-ravaged country.

"What they (Pakistan) do on Afghanistan to facilitate peace and reconciliation, which has been a burden on the relationship, that will be removed," he added.

"Pakistan is an important country with which we want to have better relations," he said.

"The role that Pakistan has played in terms of its relationship with the Taliban and the Haqqani network has been a burden on this (US-Pak) relationship. They say they want peace. We welcome that. We want them to, to play a positive role," said the US diplomat who has had several rounds of talks with the the Taliban in Doha.

Foreign Policy