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Kabul hopes Khalilzad’s Islamabad trip be useful

AT-KABUL: Afghan government hopes that the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation to Pakistan be useful with practical achievements.

Khalilzad started the third round of his trip to regional countries with the aim of persuading different states to help the Afghan peace process from Pakistan, where he met Tuesday with Pakistani foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

The chief executive office said Tuesday that Khalilzad was hoped to bring Afghans closer in his Islamabad trip and encourage Pakistan to cooperate with the peace program.

“Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad’s visit to Pakistan is hopeful. We are optimistic that his talks with Pakistani officials have practical achievements over the removal of terrorist sanctuaries and Taliban’s financial sources,” said Feraydoon Khozon, a spokesman of chief executive.

Though it is not clear if Khalilzad plans to meet Taliban representatives for the third time, but the Telegraph Daily paper has reported that the militants’ leadership has summoned their officials based in the group’s political office in Qatar for consultation over the next round of talks with the US.

Meanwhile, a source close to Taliban has confirmed that Mullah Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai and five other were summoned by the group’s leadership to Pakistan.

The reports come after US President Donald Trump in a letter asked Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to help the Afghan peace process. The US has been long pressuring Pakistan to encourage Taliban living in Pakistan to peace talks with Afghan government.

Khozon said that Khalilzad should increase pressures on Pakistan to put its commitments regarding Afghan peace in action.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry reiterated in a statement its commitment as a facilitator for the peace program in Afghanistan.

Political analysts believe that Pakistan could force Taliban to join the peace talks by cutting its support for the group and closing its training centers located in the country.

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