US peace envoy in Pakistan seeking end to 17-year Afghan war

On his previous visits he held talks with the Taliban in the Middle East. (AFP)
Updated 17 January 2019
0

US peace envoy in Pakistan seeking end to 17-year Afghan war

  • The US Embassy said on Thursday that Khalilzad will meet with senior Pakistani officials
  • Khalilzad has accelerated efforts to end the war in Afghanistan since his appointment

ISLAMABAD: Washington’s peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Pakistan on the last leg of his regional tour aimed at finding a negotiated end to Afghanistan’s 17-year war, which will allow American troops to go home, ending Washington’s longest military engagement.
The US Embassy said on Thursday that Khalilzad will meet with senior Pakistani officials, without elaborating further.
Khalilzad has accelerated efforts to end the war in Afghanistan since his appointment. On his previous visits he held talks with the Taliban in the Middle East. He has no plans to travel to the Mideast on this tour, but there are reports he may meet the Taliban during his visit to Pakistan.
If a meeting is held, it’s likely Khalilzad will press for direct talks with Kabul, something the Taliban have refused.


Pakistan arrests Hafiz Saeed, accused mastermind of Mumbai attacks

Updated 9 min 13 sec ago
0

Pakistan arrests Hafiz Saeed, accused mastermind of Mumbai attacks

  • Counter-terrorism officials arrested Hafiz Saeed while he was on his way to the central Pakistan town of Gujranwala

LAHORE, Pakistan: Pakistan authorities on Wednesday arrested Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of a four-day militant attack on the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008, on terror finance charges, a spokesman for the chief minister of Punjab said.

The move came days before a visit to Washington by Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has vowed to crack down on militant groups operating in Pakistan.

Saeed, designated a terrorist by the United States, is the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), or Army of the Pure, the militant group blamed by the United States and India for the Mumbai attacks, which killed more than 160 people.

He has denied any involvement and said his network, which includes 300 seminaries and schools, hospitals, a publishing house and ambulance services, has no ties to militant groups.

A spokesman for Punjab Governor Shahbaz Gill said Saeed was arrested near the town of Gujranwala in central Pakistan.

“The main charge is that he is gathering funds for banned outfits, which is illegal,” the spokesman said.

Pakistan, which is included on the so-called “grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force, a money laundering and terror finance watchdog, has been under increasing pressure to stop the financing of militant groups.

The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to Saeed’s conviction over the Mumbai attacks.