US diplomat visits Pakistan to discuss Afghan peace

Islamabad: A top diplomat from President Donald Trump’s administration has met with the Pakistani army chief to discuss how to ensure peace in Afghanistan following a recent ceasefire between the Taliban and Kabul.

Pakistan and the US have agreed to remain engaged for peace in Afghanistan, a media report said on Wednesday.

The agreement came during a meeting between US Deputy Assistant Secretary at the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Ambassador Alice Wells and Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa here on Tuesday, reports Dawn news.

“Both reaffirmed the commitment towards the common goal of peace and stability in the region and discussed measures towards that end. Both also agreed on continued engagement at multiple levels,” the Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement.

Pakistan is believed to have played a role in ensuring the first truce in Afghanistan’s brutal 17-year war when Kabul and insurgents separately but peacefully celebrated the Muslim feast of Eid Al Fitr. However, violence has later resumed.

Wells visit Tuesday came after Afghanistan stepped up efforts at finding a peaceful settlement, weeks after a US drone missile killed Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah in Afghanistan.

Wells also met Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Chief of the General Staff Lt Gen Bilal Akbar.

During her visit to Kabul, which preceded the Islamabad trip, Wells said the Taliban’s refusal to join the political process was “unacceptable”.

According to the US Embassay in Pakistan, Wells’ discussion was consistent with President Donald Trump administration’s South Asia and Afghanistan strategy, reports Dawn.

The strategy announced last year signalled that Washington might take coercive steps to push Pakistan to crack down against the Taliban and Haqqani network.


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