Thursday, 13 December, 2018


Donald Trump writes to Pakistan’s Imran Khan in Afghanistan peace move

Pakistan is using Taliban as hedge against India,’ says incoming head of US troops in West Asia Why has Donald Trump just written a personal letter to Imran Khan?
Bennie Garza | 04 December, 2018, 11:53

The NSC and State Department said that in Trump's letter to Khan, which was disclosed by Pakistan, "the President recognizes that Pakistan has the ability to deny the Taliban sanctuary on its territory".

Meanwhile, in Washington, a spokesperson of the US National Security Council told PTI that Trump in his letter to Khan requested "Pakistan's full support for the US-led Afghan peace process and Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad's upcoming trip to the region".

"Pakistan reiterates its commitment to play the role of facilitator in good faith", the ministry statement said.

Ever since the Twitter war between US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Imran Khan, the relations between the two countries have been quite strenuous.

The ministry welcomed the US president's outreach, saying "Pakistan has always advocated a political settlement to end war in Afghanistan".

On Pakistan, Khalilzad said the U.S. wants Afghanistan to be at peace with itself and with its neighbors.

"Peace and stability in Afghanistan remains a shared responsibility".

The Pakistani leader insisted his country was being made "a scapegoat" for US military "failures" in Afghanistan.

In a televised interview to selected journalists in the evening, Khan said his government would "try our best to make the Afghan Taliban sit together with the Americans so that negotiations can be carried forward", without giving further details.

When Mr Trump levelled his accusation about bin Laden last month, Islamabad said "such baseless rhetoric ... was totally unacceptable".

"He has asked for Pakistan's cooperation to bring the Taliban into talks".

Trump told Khan the Pakistan relationship was very important to the US and to finding a solution to the Afghanistan conflict, Chaudhry added. An NSC spokesperson described the letter in a statement as asking for "full support for the US -led Afghan peace process", but the phrase "U.S. -led" was later removed.

According to Imtiaz Gul, a Pakistani analyst, Mr Trump's letter indicates there is a realisation within the United States administration that Pakistan's co-operation is vital to ensuring peace in Afghanistan.

Although both the United States and Pakistan now have a commonality of views on seeking a political solution to the Afghan problem, the trust deficit between the two is the real stumbling block.

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