Zalmay Khalilzad to visit Pakistan to meet civil, military leaders

Islamabad: United States special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is arriving on a five-day visit to Pakistan beginning Tuesday (January 15). Khalilzad will meet senior civil and military officials during his visit. He will also hold delegation-level talks at the foreign office regarding the Afghan peace process, talks with the Taliban and the US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad leading a delegation of officials in his four-nation two-week visit from January 8-21, including Pakistan, India, China and Afghanistan. Khalilzad will meet with senior government officials in each country during his visit to facilitate an intra-Afghan political settlement. The US State Department stated that the envoy continues to coordinate his efforts with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and other Afghan stakeholders to ensure an intra-Afghan peace process. “The US goal is to promote dialogue among Afghans about how to end the conflict, and to encourage the parties to come together at the negotiating table to reach a political settlement where every Afghan citizen enjoys equal rights and responsibilities under the rule of law,” the state department said in a statement. During his previous visit in December, the US envoy said that the only solution to the conflict is for all parties to sit together and reach an agreement on the future of the war-torn country with mutual respect and acceptance. Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells is also expected to visit Pakistan.