US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad held talks with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Islamabad on Thursday with both sides in agreement that dialogue is the best solution to the ongoing crisis.
A statement by Foreign Office said: “Both sides agreed that ultimately the intra-Afghan dialogue would be vital to agree upon the contours of a future Afghan polity where Afghanistan becomes a stable and prosperous country and at peace with its neighbours.”
Khalilzad was accompanied by an interagency delegation representing the US Department of State and Nation Security Council.
The Special Representative is on a tour of Asia and has already visited China and Afghanistan. His visit to Islamabad is aimed at reviewing efforts for bringingthe Taliban to the negotiating table.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a telephonic conversation with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, assured the latter that Pakistan was making “sincere efforts” fora politically negotiated settlement of the Afghan war. The two leaders agreed “to remain engaged and create an environment for resolving all outstanding issues.”
Speaking on India’s role in Afghanistan, Foreign office spokesman Dr Mohammed Faisal said “India has no role in Afghanistan.”
He added that Pakistan has a difficult relationship with India. Despite Pakistan’s efforts for normalization no concrete progress could be achieved in ties with India. “You all know that India is not willing to engage withPakistan,” he said.
Last month, Pakistan facilitated a meeting between the US and Taliban to initiate a peace dialogue. The meeting was also attended by representatives of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Despite the Abu Dhabi meeting, which was said to have ended on a positive note, the Taliban have continued to refuse to talk to the Afghan government. Their refusal continues to be a major roadblock for the peace process.