Mon, 14 Oct 2019

New York [USA], Sept 23 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday (local time) met United States' special envoy for Afghan peace talks Zalmay Khalilzad.

Khan is in New York to take part in the 74th UN General Assembly session.

Dawn quoted Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi as saying that Khalilzad "shared with the premier how far his negotiations with the Taliban had gone, the nature of the talks and what expectations he holds in the future".

In a statement here, the Pakistan Embassy said Khan and Khalilzad discussed Afghanistan and Pakistan-US joint efforts for peace in Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister "appreciated Khalilzad's efforts for promoting a peaceful, political settlement in Afghanistan" read the statement.

"He (Imran Khan) recalled that Pakistan had always held that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict. Pakistan would, therefore, continue to support all initiatives towards achieving sustainable peace in Afghanistan and hoped for an early resumption of the peace process," it further read.

Pakistan has been long accused of harbouring terrorist groups which wreak havoc in Afghanistan and seek to undermine the democratic process in the country.

However, the Pakistan Embassy said that Khan condemned the recent surge of violence in Afghanistan.

The meeting comes weeks after US President Donald Trump called off negotiations with the Taliban and cancelled a 'secret meeting' with the group's representatives at Camp David in the wake of Kabul terror attack. The calling off of negotiations was seen as a blow to Pakistan.

On September 15, Trump said it was not a "good idea" for Taliban to launch a deadly blast in Kabul, which has claimed 12 lives including an American soldier, and stated that the militant group is aware that they have committed a "big mistake".

The US has been negotiating with the Taliban in the last few months at Doha despite the group's reluctance to hold direct talks with the Afghan government, which it views as a US puppet. (ANI)

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