Islamabad: Senior US official Lisa Curtis on Tuesday opened her visit to Pakistan with and had several meetings that regarding the process of engagement with the Taliban for restarting the Afghan peace process.
US Special Envoy for Afghan Peace and Reconciliation Amb Zalmay Khalilzad, could not meet her in Islamabad due to change in her itinerary , although he was due to meet her. Ambassador Khalilzad is presently in Afghanistan. He experienced certain unexpected alterations in his plan due to unseen conditions.
“His schedule has been fluid all week,” a diplomatic source said, and told that special envoy will likely hit Islamabad in the next week.
Ms Curtis’ meeting’ public details were not available. She is believed to come here to push the Taliban peace process little faster , improving the bilateral ties as soon as possible.
Pakistan reportedly facilitated a meeting in the last month between the US special envoy and Taliban representatives in Abu Dhabi. UAE and Saudi officials also attended the meeting but only as observers. It was agreed at the Abu Dhabi meeting that the process would continue and another meeting would be convened.
An authentic source said: “The Taliban are refusing to talk to the Afghan government. The US wants Pakistan to pressure Pakistan-based Taliban leadership to accept direct negotiations with the Afghan government.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan, meanwhile, talking to president of the East-West Institute and former US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter said: “Pakistan fully supports a political settlement in Afghanistan which is the only viable option to end this conflict.”
Mr Imran Khan said that need for ensuring regional security is very important for economic progress to occur.