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US envoy hails Pakistan’s ‘untiring efforts’ for Afghan peace

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad called on army chief General Javed Qamar Bajwa at the military headquarters in Rawalpindi and discussed the Afghan peace process.

“Regional security situation, Afghan peace process with particular reference to border management and way forward for lasting peace in Afghanistan were discussed during the meeting,” a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Monday.

This is Khalilzad’s second visit to Islamabad within a span of almost three weeks which appears to highlight the Trump administration’s urgency towards the ongoing peace efforts.

It is believed that the US administration wants to see some breakthrough before the presidential election to be held on November 3.

“The visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s untiring efforts for facilitating the process towards the mutual objective of peace in the region,” the military’s media wing said.

President Donald Trump had said all US troops in Afghanistan should be “home by Christmas”. His national security adviser said Washington would reduce its forces in the war-torn country to 2,500 by early next year.

The troops withdrawal is part of a landmark agreement signed between the US and Afghan Taliban on February 29. The Taliban were quick to welcome the US decision and vowed to implement the February 29 deal.

In return for the troops withdrawal, the Taliban have pledged not to allow Afghan soil to be used again by terrorist groups like al Qaeda

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