Ghani thanks Imran for Pakistan’s ‘sincere facilitation’ of Afghan peace efforts


ISLAMABAD: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday telephoned Prime Minister Imran Khan and “expressed his gratitude for Pakistan’s sincere facilitation of peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan” that were initiated by US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad.

According to a statement released by the PM’s office, PM Imran assured the Afghan president that Pakistan was making “sincere efforts for a negotiated settlement” of the Afghan conflict through an inclusive peace process, “as part of shared responsibility”.

Ghani invited the premier to visit Afghanistan at his earliest convenience and Khan reciprocated by inviting the Afghan president to visit Pakistan.

“Both leaders also agreed to remain engaged and create an environment for resolving all outstanding issues,” the press release said.

The conversation between the two leaders comes as Khalilzad arrived in Pakistan earlier in the day as part of a regional tour to four countries for talks on the Afghan peace process.

According to the Foreign Office, the US special envoy met Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders and sought their help in convincing the Afghan Taliban to come to the negotiating table. “Pakistan has also maintained [that] we want an Afghan-led Afghan-owned solution to [the] imbroglio,” the FO spokesperson said in a statement.

Pakistan is believed to be making serious efforts to arrange a meeting between Khalilzad and Afghan Taliban leaders in Islamabad to help break the deadlock and speed up the Afghan peace process, according to a news report.