Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said Tuesday he plans to meet with the Taliban to persuade them to hold negotiations with the government in Afghanistan but cautioned that securing a political settlement to war will not be easy.
While delivering a public talk at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, Khan noted that for the first time in the 18-year-old Afghan conflict, Pakistan and the United States are working together to advance peace efforts in the neighboring country.
Khan spoke a day after he met with President Donald Trump at the White House where the two leaders agreed to work together to end to the conflict.
“Now, when I go back after meeting President Trump … I will meet the Taliban and I will try my best to get them to talk to the Afghan government so that the elections in Afghanistan must be inclusive where the Taliban also participate in it,” he said.
The Taliban is strongly opposed to engaging in any formal intra-Afghan negotiations, involving the Kabul government, until securing a peace deal with the U.S.