Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) at GHQ, today.
According to the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR), regional security situation, the Afghan peace process with particular reference to border management and way forward for lasting peace in Afghanistan were discussed during the meeting.
“The visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s untiring efforts for facilitating the process towards the mutual objective of peace in the region,” military media wing added.
Note that, last month US President Donald Trump has sought withdrawal of all US troops to return home from Afghanistan by Christmas.
Just hours earlier, his national security adviser had announced that the number of US troops in Afghanistan would be reduced to 2,500 by early next year.
US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday “We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!.”
President Trump’s announcement comes almost a month before the US presidential election, in which he seeks to show that he is living up to his promise to end “endless American wars.” However, it is not clear whether Trump tweeted an order or whether he was merely expressing his long-held desire.
Trump is running again in the presidential election. He has been pushing for an end to the longest-running war in Afghanistan, which is an important part of his foreign policy, even though thousands of US troops are currently stationed in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
A landmark agreement reached between the Taliban and the United States in Qatar in February this year stated that all foreign forces would withdraw from Afghanistan by 2021 if the Taliban guaranteed an end to terrorism. Following the agreement, the Taliban announced talks with the Afghan government on a ceasefire and a power-sharing formula.
Inter-Afghan peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government resumed last month in Doha, the capital of Qatar, under US arrangements for a ceasefire and peace in Afghanistan. Negotiations have stalled due to this.
Just hours before President Trump’s tweet, US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said the United States would reduce its troop numbers in Afghanistan to less than 5,000 by early next year.
“Ultimately, the Afghans themselves are working for a deal, a peace deal,” O’Brien said at a ceremony at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Its pace is slow, it is making progress with difficulty, but we think it is a necessary step. We believe that Americans need to return home. ”
The National Security Council and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.