Afghan peace process: US special envoy meets Pak army chief
Washington, Mar 09: US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and Commander Resolute Support Mission General Austin Scott Miller on Monday met Pakistan's powerful army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa here and discussed the Afghan peace process.
Khalilzad's visit to Pakistan, first under the Biden administration, comes amidst rising violence in Afghanistan and lack of clarity of policy by the new US government towards Afghanistan.
Ambassador Khalilzad and Gen Miller called on Gen Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi wherein they discussed 'matters of mutual interest, regional security and the ongoing Afghanistan reconciliation process,' according to a brief statement by the army.
'The visiting dignitary greatly appreciated Pakistan's role in the ongoing peace process," the statement added.
The Biden administration, which is currently reviewing its Afghan policy, has asked Khalilzad to continue with his position and lead the Afghan peace process.
Khalilzad and his team last week concluded three days of productive consultations in Kabul with government officials, civil society and women leaders, and other Afghan political figures.
'The Islamic Republic and the Taliban must find a path to a political settlement and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire. In Kabul, I discussed various options/alternatives to propel the process forward,' Khalilzad said in a tweet after concluding his talks in Afghanistan.
The Biden administration has decided to review the Doha deal the Trump administration had signed with the Taliban in February 2020. The deal provided for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, effectively drawing curtains to Washington's 18-year war in the country. The US has lost over 2,400 soldiers in Afghanistan since late 2001.