The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Friday met Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad “to discuss efforts for peace in Afghanistan,” Dawn News reported.
According to Pakistani media, at the meeting Qureshi said that the peace agreement between the US and the Taliban will pave the way for intra-Afghan talks.
Meanwhile, the Afghan government and some Afghan politicians insist that Washington should put pressure on Pakistan to convince the Taliban to accept a ceasefire before engaging in talks with the Afghans.
Khalilzad also met with Pakistani Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
“The finalization of a peace treaty between the Taliban and the US will pave the way for inter-Afghan dialogue, which would not only benefit Afghanistan but the whole region,” Qureshi was quoted as saying.
Last week Khalilzad traveled to Brussels where he met US and NATO officials about peace in Afghanistan.
The visit takes place as talks between the US and the Taliban in Doha are paused.
The Presidential Palace in Kabul meanwhile has said that Pakistan has failed to deliver on its promises regarding peace in Afghanistan.
“The expectations that Pakistan would take practical action against the sanctuaries of the terrorists weren’t fulfilled,” said Latif Mahmoud, deputy spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Kay, NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan, also said that NATO and EU officials in a meeting reiterated their support for Afghan peace.
“Good meeting with good colleagues. EU and NATO are long term partners of Afghanistan with shared values and goals. We reiterated support for the peace process and inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations,” Kay tweeted.
Diplomatic efforts are also underway in Kabul among Afghan politicians and the government.
“The State Ministry on Peace Affairs believes that political participation and social togetherness are necessary to support the inclusivity of the peace process and strengthening national consensus in the future– our meetings are frequently held with the mujahideen leaders,” said Najia Anwari, spokeswoman for the State Ministry on Peace Affairs.
“At this time, the presidential palace should agree on the reduction in violence plan, it should avoid any move which can certify the geographical position of the Taliban, the reduction in violence should later change into a ceasefire,” said Mohammad Amin Weqad, a former mujahideen commander.
This comes as the Afghan government leaders appear split on the issue of a reduction in violence.
Last week, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said that no one should set preconditions for peace talks.
But President Ashraf Ghani has been calling for a ceasefire