As the Afghan sides in Doha announced a 20-day long break in the ongoing peace talks amid rising violence in Afghanistan, United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad together with Commander Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan General Austin Scott Miller arrived Pakistan, and held consultations with the country’s military leadership on the situation.
Ambassador Khalilzad and General Miller arrived on Monday from Doha, and held a meeting with Pakistani Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
According to the Pakistani Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), matters of mutual interest including overall regional security situation with particular reference to ongoing Afghan reconciliation process were discussed during the meeting.
“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 ISPR stated in a statement.
It added: “the visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s untiring efforts for facilitating the process towards the mutual objective of peace in the region.”
The visit took place a time when the Kabul and Taliban negotiations teams in Doha agreed on a 20-day long break in the ongoing intra-Afghan negotiations to apprise their respective leadership of the progress that has been made so far and consult them on the agenda for the next round to be resumed on January 5, 2021.
Before leaving for Pakistan, Khalilzad took to Twitter to give his response over the break in the intra-Afghan negotiations, and urged both the sides to resume the talks as agreed.
“The two Afghan negotiating teams announced in Doha they will take 20 days off to “consult on the agenda items”… Tragically, the war continues. The need for a political settlement, reduction in violence, and a ceasefire remain urgent,” Khalilzad asserted.
Insisting on resumption of the peace talks, the special US envoy stated: “Given how much is at stake, it is imperative that there is no delays in resumption of talks and they must resume on Jan 5 as agreed.”
The intra-Afghan negotiation started in Doha on September 12, 2020 and after months of debates and consultations the two sides reached an agreement on the procedure of the negotiations recently which was also welcomed by Pakistan.