ISLAMABAD – US President Donald Trump’s point man for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad arrived here on Monday for talks with the Pakistani leadership as Washington attempts to resume the peace talks with the Taliban militants, according to media reports.
Quoting official sources, The Express Tribune reported that US ambassador Khalilzad is in the capital to meet civil and military authorities for consultations on the stalled Afghan peace process.
This is Khalilzad’s second visit to Pakistan in a month. He visited Islamabad earlier this month and held a meeting with Afghan Taliban delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Khalilzad’s latest trip to the region that also took him to Kabul and Moscow has raised hopes for the resumption of Afghan peace talks.
Talks with the Taliban on a plan to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan in exchange for Taliban security guarantees were halted by Trump last month following the death of a US soldier and 11 other people in a Taliban bomb attack in Kabul.
Efforts are now being made to resume the peace process that almost produced a deal with the Taliban, the report said.
Pakistan, Russia and China last week urged the US to resume talks with the Taliban as they believed that the 18-year Afghan war could only end through negotiations.
President Trump has vowed at recent rallies to make good on his 2016 campaign promise to end American involvement in what he has described as “endless wars”, including Afghanistan.
The United Nations earlier this month called for all sides to reduce their violent attacks in war-torn Afghanistan, which have caused more than 8,000 civilian casualties so far this year.
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