Islamabad: United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad will land in Islamabad later on Monday to meet with the Pakistani leadership and discuss the future course of action in the Afghan peace process.
As per diplomatic sources, Khalilzad will be holding important meetings with the civilian and military leadership of Pakistan and discuss findings during the first round of the intra-Afghan dialogue that is in progress in Doha.
"He will discuss the next phase of the Afghan peace process with important deliberations and guidance on the reconciliation process," said a Pakistani government source.
The visit holds importance as it comes at a time when Afghan government and the Taliban have started the first round of the intra-Afghan dialogue with optimism of ending the decades-long conflict which has claimed lives of tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan.
The Afghan government negotiation team, led by Abdullah Abdullah has called for an immediate ceasefire to ensure smooth and positive forward movement in the dialogue process, which is aimed at bringing back peace in the country, region and the world at large.
"The ongoing toll of the war has claimed at least 12,000 civilians while another 15,000 have been critically wounded since the US and the Taliban signed a deal in February," he said.
It is expected that the same demand will be part of the agenda of talks during Khalilzad's stay in Islamabad as he will be seeking Islamabad's support in convincing the Taliban to announce a ceasefire till the intra-Afghan dialogue continues.
Pakistan has played a key role in bringing the Taliban to the table for talks with the Afghan government and holds major stakes in the ongoing intra-Afghan dialogue.
"Pakistan has fully facilitated the process that culminated in the US-Taliban Peace Agreement in Doha on February 29, 2020 and has reached this juncture," said Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, addressing the opening session of the intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha through video link.
Khalilzad's next stop after Pakistan will be in India where important discussions on the Afghan peace process will be further taken up.