Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met the COAS Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa with the recently updated strategy for the U.S. exit from Afghanistan
The US special envoy for Afghanistan shared a new strategy adopted by the Biden Administration with Pakistan. The U.S. government wants to hold national elections under the transitional Afghan government, as per officials. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad held a meeting with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi to discuss the details of the new strategy adopted by his government.
Khalilzad was accompanied by General Austin Miller, commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, and other officials. From Pakistan’s side, DG Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed, Pakistan special envoy on Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq, and PM Special Assistant on National Security Dr. Moeed Yusuf were also present during the meeting.
Looking for a political solution
The Biden Administration is looking for a political solution to the Afghanistan situation. Khalilzad has recently met with the Afghan Taliban as well in Doha. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin also wrote a letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani with a four-point plan for the Afghan endgame. The plan includes a UN-backed meeting of foreign ministers from Pakistan, Russia, Iran, the U.S., China, and India, to adopt a singular approach.
A transitional government
According to The New York Times, which read a copy of the proposals, said that the government wants national elections after the establishment of a “transitional peace government of Afghanistan”. The Taliban reportedly rejected the idea of fresh elections, calling them western interference. It is reported that the U.S. wants Pakistan to exert pressure on the Afghan Taliban to accept the new terms.
The Trump administration inked a deal with the Afghan Taliban in February 2020 which indicated a clear road map for the U.S. to leave the region by May 2021. Since then, the Taliban have been accused of violating the terms and conditions of the deal. With the current presence of both U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan that the current government may not honor the deal. Clarity on the matters will make the region more stable and avoid any further escalations in Afghanistan.