By: Suraya Raiszada
Since the appointment of Zalmay Khalilzad as US special peace envoy for Afghanistan in September 2018, he has paid visits to world and regional countries to end the ongoing war and violence in Afghanistan.
The US senior diplomat has been able to pay visits to many countries and is intending to find a political settlement for ending the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
After his appointment as US special peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad held direct talks with representatives of the Taliban group in Doha, capital city of Qatar. So far Khalilzad has held direct talks with the group ten times.
Zalmay Khalilzad is considered as one of the US top diplomats who had hard missions in the region and Afghanistan and there are hopes that his recent visits to the region and Afghanistan can be good news for maintaining peace and ending the dispute in Afghanistan.
During his recent visit to Pakistan, the US special peace envoy for Afghanistan has met with civilian and military officials of the country to discuss Afghanistan peace process.
Based on reports, on Friday, Khalilzad visited Islamabad and met with Pakistani officials including Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and other government officials, discussing US efforts to facilitate a political settlement to end the war in Afghanistan.
Reports have confirmed that the US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is in Kabul and will meet with Afghan officials including President Ashraf Ghani to discuss the peace process, which some close to the talks say has reached a new phase.
Meanwhile, a number of Afghan political experts suggested that Zalmay Khalilzad had to convince the Pakistani government to honestly cooperate with Afghanistan government in ending the ongoing war and bringing lasting peace to the country.
Afghanistan parliament has also considered Khalilzad’s recent tour to the region as a matter of hope for ending the ongoing war in the country and also hoping for a result in this regard.
Mishrano Jirga or the Upper House of Afghanistan national assembly has also asked the US special peace envoy for Afghanistan to clearly discuss all issues causing continued war and violence in Afghanistan with Pakistan and other neighboring countries in the region.
“Khalilzad has been engaged in issues related to Afghanistan for long years and knows political leaders of the country; therefore, his mission as peace envoy can be effective,” said Azimi, an Afghan senator.
He hoped that Khalilzad could have effective role in controlling of the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.
Ali Rahmani, another Afghan political expert says Afghanistan is passing a critical phase; therefore, peace efforts should be further accelerated. He said that Khalilzad should play a mediator role in direct meetings between the Taliban and Afghanistan government to find a political settlement for the crisis. It is worth mentioning that a peace agreement that can end religious and political violence in the country and pave the way for peaceful and legal political activities to each group is needed to be signed between all sides to the ongoing conflicts.