US official wraps up visit, calls for Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace: US embassy

Special US official wraps up visit, calls for Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace: US embassy
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells. (AP)
Updated 03 April 2018

US official wraps up visit, calls for Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace: US embassy

US official wraps up visit, calls for Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace: US embassy
  • Senior US diplomat wraps up her week-long visit with call for Pakistan and US to work together on a peaceful resolution in Afghanistan.
  • The US diplomat discussed the shared interest in building economic and commercial ties that benefit both nations, the US embassy said.

ISLAMABAD: A senior American diplomat ended a week-long visit to Pakistan on Tuesday with a call for Islamabad’s role in peace and reconciliation in war-ravaged Afghanistan, the US embassy in Islamabad said on Tuesday.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells, visited Islamabad and Karachi from March 28 to April 3 — her second visit to Pakistan this year.
She visited Pakistan after attending the Tashkent conference on Afghanistan, which emphasized that a “political settlement” with the Taliban as the best way to end violence in Afghanistan. The March 26-27 Tashkent conference stressed the need for “direct peace talks” between the Afghan government and the Taliban without preconditions.
A US embassy statement said that Wells had noted “the growing international consensus on the way forward to achieving peace in Afghanistan and the meaningful role that Pakistan, partnering with the United States, could play in achieving a peaceful resolution in Afghanistan.”
Afghan reconciliation talks are facing deadlock. The Taliban has been pressing for direct talks with the US, explaining that the Kabul administration has no power, and that the US is the major party in the conflict. However, the US has rejected the Taliban’s calls and advised them to sit face-to-face with the government in Kabul.
The Taliban insisted that an end to foreign invasion is important and they want to discuss a timeframe for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.
The Taliban ignored the offer of dialogue fron Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in his speech at the Kabul Process meeting on Feb. 28, in which the Afghan leader offered to recognize the Taliban as political movement, to allow them to take office in Afghanistan and to work to have the names of Taliban leaders removed from the UN sanctions list.
During her visit, Wells discussed President Trump’s South Asia strategy and Pakistan’s commitment to eliminate all terrorist groups within its borders, as well as the shared interest in building economic and commercial ties that benefit both nations, the US embassy said.
President Donald Trump has criticized in Pakistan, stating that “Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror.”
“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond,” Trump said.
At the weekend Wells visited Karachi where she met Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and business leaders.