Pak presses US for reconciliation in Afghanistan

Pak presses US for reconciliation in Afghanistan

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Saturday highlighted the need for reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Tehmina Janjua on a two-day visit to Washington stressed the need for restarting the process of reconciliation in Afghanistan.

She held two high-level meetings at the White House and the State Department respectively during her visit to Washington on Friday.

“The meetings went off very well. There’s a sense of positivity that they want to strengthen their relationship with Pakistan,” Janjua was quoted by the Dawn, as saying.

“There was also a great deal of focus on peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and, both sides welcomed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s recent peace offer to the Taliban,” said Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary, who attended both meetings.

Gen. Joseph L. Votel, who heads the US Central Command was included in the US team for the talks.

Gen. Votel’s inclusion in the White House team was supported by Pakistan as he has always strongly advocated maintaining a strong relationship with Islamabad.

“They do realise Pakistan’s importance, repeatedly said it, and stressed it yesterday too,” said Janjua when asked if Gen Votel was the only US official who considered Pakistan an important ally.

She pointed out that she had come to Washington on a “reach-out” visit, but when US officials learned about it they arranged high-level meetings, reflecting the fact that Washington continued to value this important relationship.

“We told them that this is a long-term relationship, which needs a structured dialogue process,” Janjua said.

Janjua further pointed out at ‘many actors’ in Afghanistan and suggested that they might not be completely in support of Islamabad reconciliation efforts.

“We can only play a facilitative role, she added.

The last US-Pakistan strategic ministerial process was held in Washington in February 2016. (ANI)

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