‘Pakistan will continue to play positive role for region’s peace’, Gen Qamar tells Khalilzad | The Express Tribune


Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has assured US special envoy for Afghanistan that Pakistan will continue to play its positive role for peace and stability in the region, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Monday.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and Commander Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan General Austin Scott Miller called on General Qamar.

According to the military’s media wing, matters of mutual interest including overall regional security situation with particular reference to ongoing Afghan reconciliation process were discussed during the meeting.

The COAS appreciated role of RSM for peace and stability in Afghanistan and assured that Pakistan will continue to play its positive role for peace and stability in the region.

The visiting dignitary appreciated Islamabad’s untiring efforts for facilitating the process towards the mutual objective of peace in the region.

The Afghan conflict, which has raged for four decades, continues to claim scores of lives each month and displaced millions over the years – most of whom have no prospects of return.

Islamabad has played a key part in brokering the ongoing peace process, something that has been acknowledged both by Kabul and Washington.

Earlier this month, an agreement was reached on rules and procedures by the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha as representatives from both parties said that they reached a preliminary deal to press on with peace talks – the first written pact in 19 years of war also welcomed by the United Nations and the United States.

The agreement between Afghan parties lays out the way forward for further discussion and is considered a breakthrough because it will allow negotiators to move on to more substantive issues, including talks on a ceasefire.

Pakistan welcomed the move, saying that the agreement reflects a common resolve of the parties to secure a negotiated settlement

“It is an important development contributing towards a successful outcome of the Intra-Afghan negotiations, which we all hope for,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Chaudhri had said.

The Taliban were ousted from power in 2001 by US-led forces for refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden, the architect of the September 11 attacks on the United States. A US-backed government has held power in Afghanistan since then, although the Taliban have control over wide areas of the country.

Under a February deal, foreign forces are to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counter-terrorism guarantees from the Taliban, including negotiating a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing formula with the Afghan government.

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