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Pakistan Army Chief and Afghan President discuss intra-Afghan peace

Pakistan Army Chief and Afghan President discuss intra-Afghan peace

General Bajwa also met Abdullah Abdullah during the visit to Kabul

Pakistan renewed its efforts to restart the intra-Afghan dialogue to bring peace to the war-torn nation. Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Bajwa met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul. The trip is the first by a high-level Pakistani official since Ghani took office for a second term in March.   

Army Chief was accompanied by Muhammad Sadiq, the newly appointed envoy to Afghanistan, and ISI chief Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed on the unannounced visit. Bajwa also met Abdullah Abdullah, the former chief executive officer of the Unity Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and the current leader of the High Council for National Reconciliation to discuss matters related to the peace process.

As per an ISPR statement, both sides discussed the Afghan peace process and measures required for it. The importance of the peace process being Afghan-led and owned. The two sides also discussed the importance of having a time table for the return of Afghan refugees to their native land.

Abdullah said that Gen Bajwa expressed Pakistan’s support for Afghan efforts and the earliest possible start of intra-Afghan talks, according to the local media. Later in a tweet, Abdullah appreciated Pakistan’s efforts and said that the Afghans wanted to live in harmony. “I told him that we are ready to engage with the Taliban on our common issues and to end the conflict and live together in peace. I reiterated Pakistan’s constructive role in this regard,” he said.

A couple of days earlier, Zalmay Khalilzad, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation at the State Department, held a meeting with General Bajwa and DG ISI Lt-Gen Faiz Hameedin Islamabad. Khalilzad also held a meeting with a Taliban delegation in Qatar concerning the intra-Afghan peace talks that are expected to begin at the end f June.

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