The Kabul Times.

Optimisms on introducing Zalmai Khalilzad as US special envoy to Afghanistan


A senior official of George W. Bush administration, Zalmai Khalilzad is expected to return to Afghanistan and assume office as the US special envoy to Afghanistan, according to US officials.
Khalilzad, who is Afghan-born, served as a foreign policy adviser to multiple administrations and held several diplomatic posts under the then US President George W. Bush.
Expressing optimism on introducing Zalmai Khalilzad as the US special envoy to Afghanistan, a number of lawmakers and experts said Khalilzad could play effective role as a person to bring changes in Afghanistan.
They are stressing that Khalilzad knows Afghan politicians and can understand Afghanistan’s current situation more than others.
A lawmaker Hashimi said, “This time, Khalilzad comes to Afghanistan while bilateral security and other strategic agreements between the two countries have remained unchanged and US has recently declared its policy on Afghanistan and south Asia.”
He said the people of Afghanistan expected that Khalilzad could play effective role in curbing ongoing crises in the country.
Another lawmaker Qadir Zazay believes Khalilzad can be a key person on Afghanistan’s issues and he would do its best to solve the ongoing problems of the system.
However, Khalilzad’s introduction as the US special envoy to Afghanistan has not been officially confirmed by US officials, but western media said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to name Zalmay Khalilzad for this post.
A number of experts believe that now, the US has realized that prolongation of war in Afghanistan is not in the benefit of any country, therefore, appointing Zalmay Khalilzad is a signal to the Taliban that the US is willing to end long-lasting war in this country.
A political expert Ali Rahmani said, “As Afghanistan is going through a sensitive stage, Khalilzad’s appointment would be a good step, because his stance against Pakistan and having good relations with Afghan leaders would cause him to play key role on ensuring peace throughout the country.”
Experts believe lasting war in Afghanistan is not in the interest of any country and US move on assignment of Khalilzad would be a good step to end war.
Experts on political and regional affairs are saying the US should further exert political pressure on terrorism funding states, stressing if Khalilzad is appointed as the US special envoy to Afghanistan, the terrorism-supporting countries would step up to target terrorists’ hideouts in this soil.
Zalmay Khalilzad is a diplomatic veteran, having served as a US ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations.
Suraya Raiszada

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The Kabul Times.