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Zalmay Khalilzad briefly visits Pakistan to discuss Afghan peace process

Zalmay Khalilzad briefly visits Pakistan to discuss Afghan peace process
April 14, 2020
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad briefly visited Pakistan on Tuesday. According to sources, Zalmay Khalilzad met high-ranking officers and discussed the Afghan peace process as well as regional stability. According to a press release issued by the US State Department, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Resolute Support Mission Commander General Austin Scott Miller visited Islamabad on Tuesday. In a meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Ambassador Khalilzad and General Miller discussed the United States’ ongoing efforts for a sustainable peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s military leaders reaffirmed their support for US efforts and renewed their commitment to act to advance a political settlement to the conflict. Earlier on Monday, the US State Department had announced that Khalilzad was to meet with Taliban officials “to discuss current challenges in implementing the US-Taliban Agreement.” The Feb 29 deal called for the freeing of up to 5,000 Taliban detainees and up to 1,000 government prisoners as a prelude to a March 10 opening of peace negotiations between the Taliban and an Afghan delegation including officials from Kabul. The Taliban, however, demanded the release all 5,000 detainees before they would attend the talks, a demand rejected by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, whose government was not a party to the deal. Ashraf Ghani ordered a phased release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners, of whom some 300 have been freed since Wednesday.