US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrives in Islamabad for talks about Afghan Taliban

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Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States special envoy
Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States special envoy tasked with finding a negotiated end to Afghanistan’s 17-year old war, arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday for meetings with the political and military leadership about bringing the Afghan Taliban to peace talks.

Tuesday’s visit comes a day after US President Donald Trump wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, seeking Islamabad’s “assistance and facilitation in achieving a negotiated settlement of the Afghan war”, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

In Washington, a spokesperson for the US National Security Council (NSC) told Dawn that in his first letter to PM Khan, President Trump had sought “Pakistan’s full support” for the US-led peace process in Afghanistan and for his special envoy’s trip to the region.

Khalilzad will also travel to Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in a stepped-up effort to find a peaceful end to the Afghan war.

‘Less arrogant mindset’

Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, in reply to Khalilzad’s tweet regarding his regional visit, asked the special envoy to “bring a less arrogant and hostile mindset when you visit Islamabad [this time]”.

Dr Mazari is considered a hawk in the PTI government on relations with the US and has previously also called out Trump over his tirade against Pakistan.

Khalilzad has a prickly relationship with Pakistan, having often accused Islamabad of fomenting violence in Afghanistan by supporting the Taliban.

Following Khalilzad’s appointment in September as Trump administration’s new envoy for reconciliation in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had urged him to be more sensitive to Pakistani opinion than he has been as a private citizen.

Originally Posted on SuchTv

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