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Efforts still on for US-Taliban meeting in Pakistan

Efforts still on for US-Taliban meeting in Pakistan

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On
Jan 20, 2019 - 09:58

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Islamabad is still making last-ditch efforts to arrange a meeting between the Talibaninfo-icon and the Zalmay Khalilzad-led US delegation, says a senior Pakistani official.

The US special envoy for Afghanistaninfo-icon reconciliation remains in Islamabad despite concluding three days of talks with top Pakistani leaders including Prime Minister Imran Khan and army chief Gen. Bajwa.

“We continue to try to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table with Khalilzad,” the official told Pajhwok Afghan News. He hoped the militant movement would soften its stance on the meeting agenda. 

The US diplomat wants the insurgents to agree to a ceasefire, open direct talks with the Afghan government and release an American professor, who was kidnapped by the militants in Kabulinfo-icon in 2016.

However, the Taliban have spurned the demands as unrealistic. Instead the insurgents insist on deliberations on the withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn country and a prisoner swap.

“We have been doing all we can to facilitate US-Taliban discussions, which may pave the ground for an intra-Afghan peace process,” the Pakistani official said.

He added US Senator Lindsay Graham was due to arrive in Islamabad today (Sunday) for talks on Pakistaninfo-icon’s role in stabilising Afghanistan.

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