US Secretary of State held important telephonic conversation with Pakistani FM Qureshi

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US Secretary of State held important telephonic conversation with Pakistani FM Qureshi

ISLAMABAD/WASHINGTON – Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the prospects of the two countries cooperating to support the peace process in Afghanistan, State Department spokesperson Ned price said on Friday.

"Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and underscored the shared desire for a stable and sustainable bilateral relationship," Price said in a statement.

"The Secretary and the Foreign Minister discussed the importance of continued US-Pakistan cooperation on the Afghanistan peace process following the visit to the United States by Afghan President Ghani and Chairman Abdullah."

As US forces are expected to complete the withdrawal process by August 31, the Biden administration has been calling on Afghanistan's neighboring countries to play a bigger role in ensuring the stability of the war-torn country.

Meanwhile, Taliban have claimed to control at least 85 per cent of Afghanistan as they gain ground in a major offensive amid the final withdrawal of US troops.

Spokesman Shahabuddin Delawar told a press conference in Moscow that the the group had seized some 250 of the country’s 398 districts.

Government forces have been easily defeated by Taliban fighters and more than 1,000 Afghan troops fled into Tajikistan earlier this week.

The armed movement insisted that it will not take provincial capitals by force but said that the peace deal it signed with the United States in February 2020, which the Afghan government was not party to, leaves it free to attack administrative centres.

The Afghan government, on the other hand, pledged to retake control of all territory overrun by the Taliban.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden said he does not believe it is inevitable that the Afghan government will fall to the Taliban after the US leaves Afghanistan. The US president said he trusts Afghan security forces have the capacity to prevent a civil war, adding that the Afghan people must control their own fate.