COAS, US team discuss Afghan parleys

By Asghar Ali Mubarak

ISLAMABAD: The US chief negotiator and the top American commander in Afghanistan visited Islamabad on Tuesday and discussed Afghan peace process with Pakistan’s top military leadership.
“Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Resolute Support Mission Commander General Austin Scott Miller visited Islamabad on April 14,” a statement issued by the US embassy in Pakistan said.
“In the meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Ambassador Khalilzad and General Miller discussed the United States’ ongoing efforts for a sustainable peace in Afghanistan,” the communique added.
Pakistan’s military leaders reaffirmed their support for US efforts and renewed their commitment to act to advance a political settlement to the conflict, according to the statement.
The visit of US delegation comes a day after their meeting with Taliban officials in Doha on a prisoner release dispute that led to stall US-led peace-making efforts, a Taliban spokesperson said. US officials meet with Taliban leaders in Qatar
The discussions, held despite the global coronavirus pandemic, followed some movement on prisoner releases, with Kabul freeing some 300 insurgent detainees and the Taliban releasing a first batch of government prisoners. The dispute over the size and pace of the releases, an increase in Taliban violence and other issues have stalled the US-led effort to end America’s longest war and decades of strife in Afghanistan. Suhail Shaheen, a spokesperson for the Taliban office in Doha, said on Twitter that Khalilzad and Miller met Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the insurgent movement, and his chief negotiator.