Gen Bajwa, Khalilzad discuss ways to cut Afghan violence with Pak help

US Embassy issues statement on American envoy's visit

By: News Desk      Published: 01:25 PM, 3 Nov, 2020
Gen Bajwa, Khalilzad discuss ways to cut Afghan violence with Pak help
File photo.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad visited Islamabad yesterday and provided an update on the current state of the peace process to Pakistan’s top security officials, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The US embassy in a statement on Tuesday said Khalilzad in a meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other officials discussed the overwhelming consensus in the international community that all sides must reduce violence leading to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.

Ambassador Khalilzad and Gen Bajwa discussed how best a reduction in violence can be brought to bear with Pakistan’s assistance.

They deliberated upon the steps international supporters can take to encourage the two Afghan sides negotiating a political settlement to accelerate their negotiations and make substantive progress, the statement read.

Earlier on Monday, Pakistan military’s media wing said Gen Bajwa, and Khalilzad’s delegation discussed the ongoing US-brokered Afghan peace process “and (the) way forward for (a) lasting peace” in Afghanistan.

The statement noted that Khalilzad “appreciated Pakistan’s untiring efforts for facilitating the process towards the mutual objective of peace in the region.”

Separately, Khalilzad, in a series of tweets, condemned the Monday’s attack on Kabul University, saying, “The terrorist perpetrators are not just against education but are pro-ignorance.”

“They want to breed chaos and instability, terror and poverty. They oppose and fear peace and seek a permanent state of war,” he added.

The top level Pakistan-US talks came on the day when gunmen attacked a university in Kabul killing 22 people. Monday's assault at the popular university near central Kabul saw three attackers -- one of whom blew himself up -- rampage through the campus, shooting students in their classrooms. Islamic State claimed the attack.

IS also claimed a similar attack on an educational centre in Kabul less than two weeks ago that killed 24 people.

Afghan security forces have been grappling with surging violence that has only worsened in recent months despite the government holding peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar.