According to a statement released by the U.S. embassy in Pakistan on Friday, Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, met with the Pakistani officials on August 1st and 2nd and discussed the progress in the Afghan peace process.
In his meetings with Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, and General Javed Bajwa, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, Khalilzad defined the positive momentum in the Afghan peace process and forward steps.
Moreover, both sides discussed the role of Pakistan in the peace process and the steps this country can take for contributing to the process.
“Just finished up in Islamabad. Met with PM Imran Khan, FM Qureshi & COAS Gen Bajwa. We discussed the PM’s Washington visit & what comes next. I briefed them on the Afghan Peace Process. We discussed Pakistan’s role in support of the process & additional positive steps they can take,” tweeted Khalilzad on Friday.
“Peace will require reliable assurances from Afghanistan & Pakistan that neither sides’ territory is used to threaten the other. Such assurance on top of an intra-Afghan comprehensive peace agreement will allow increased regional economic integration, connectivity & development,” he further said.
This comes as the Washington Post reported on Friday that the U.S. government is preparing to withdraw thousands of the American troops from Afghanistan in exchange for concessions from the Taliban, including a cease-fire and a renunciation of al-Qaeda, as part on an initial deal to the end the nearly 18-year-old war.
“The agreement, which would require the Taliban to begin negotiating a larger peace deal directly with the Afghan government, could cut the number of American troops in the country from roughly 14,000 to between 8,000 and 9,000, the officials said,” Washington Post wrote.