U.S. envoy Khalilzad holds talks with Tehmina Janjua at FO

Khalilzad who was accompanied by a US interagency delegation representing the departments of defence state and National Security Council thanked Qureshi for facilitating the direct talks between the US and the Afghan Taliban

Pakistan rules out India’s role in Afghan peace process

Officials in Islamabad say Pakistan is keenly aware that Afghanistan will continue to need huge amounts of foreign aid to keep its shattered economy afloat after any peace settlement and have been working closely with the United States.

"We are not done yet despite their [Taliban] outright refusal".

The core issues for Congress include its role in authorising, appropriating funds for, and overseeing United States military activities, aid and regional policy implementation, it said.

US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and the top North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commander in Afghanistan met Pakistani officials on Thursday as they pursued diplomatic efforts to push forward talks with the Afghan Taliban.

"We believe that the Taliban should agree on that [meeting]".

The Taliban has objected to government involvement in its meetings with Khalilzad and wants foreign troops to leave Afghanistan.

US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Islamabad earlier on Thursday to hold delegation-level talks.

His visit - the fifth in the last few months - was reportedly delayed twice in order to allow Taliban leaders to consult with each other over the proposed meeting with the top US negotiator.

The statement further adds that the United States is backing away from that agenda and is unilaterally adding new subjects.

Zalmay Khalilzad spoke to the Afghan media in Kabul on January 16 on his latest visit to the country, amid diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the conflict which began with the 2001 US invasion.

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The backstop is an insurance policy created to prevent the return of border checks on the frontier between EU-member Ireland and Northern Ireland .

"Meeting with Zalmay Khalilzad is very much possible". Afghan security forces and military pressure are important in this phase.

"We are in constant touch with the Taliban representatives but they are reluctant to meet the USA delegation in Islamabad".

The Trump administration, marking a significant departure from its predecessor, is discussing reconciliation directly with the Taliban while insisting that the Afghan government must participate.

"In that case, the entire exercise will turn out to be futile", he concluded.

Meanwhile, Khalilzad was expected in Pakistan following his meetings in the Afghan capital.

"Peace will come if the process goes ahead honestly".

Since then, several attempts to resume the stalled peace process have been made by a four-nation group comprised of Pakistan, Afghanistan, the USA and China.

Until now, however, these attempts have failed to bear fruit except for a few rounds of direct talks between the USA and the Taliban. The conflict is said to have killed more Afghan civilians and security forces in 2018 than in any other year.

Expressing her views on the occasion, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua reiterated Pakistan's commitment to facilitate Afghan reconciliation process for enduring peace and the stability in the region.

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