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Imran meets Khalilzad, calls to reduce Afghan violence


File photo of Pak prime minister Imran Khan &

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for "practical steps for reduction of violence in Afghanistan" in his meeting here with visiting US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said on Tuesday that Khan assured Khalilzad during their meeting on Monday evening of Pakistan's "steadfast and sincere" support to the peace and reconciliation process in war-ravaged Afghanistan, reports Xinhua news agency.

This is Khalilzad's second visit to Pakistan this month which is mainly focused on his renewed efforts to resume the stalled peace process with the Taliban. He met top Taliban negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Islamabad earlier this month.

US President Donald Trump abruptly called off the talks with the Taliban last month after a Taliban suicide bomber killed an American soldier and at least 10 other people in Kabul.

Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen has claimed that the US and the militant group had agreed to sign a peace agreement on September 13 that would be followed by their's ceasefire against the foreign forces but Trump's abrupt cancellation blocked the signing of the deal.

Khalilzad's meeting with Khan took place after he met senior Afghan government leaders and politicians in Kabul on Sunday to explore ways for revival of the peace process with the Taliban.

According to the PMO, Khan "underlined the need to overcome the difficulties in this regard so that an enduring political solution to the Afghan conflict could be achieved at the earliest".

"As a sincere facilitator and a friend, Pakistan remains ready to do everything possible in its capacity, as part of a shared responsibility, for early conclusion of a peace deal," Khan was quoted saying.

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