Zalmay Khalilzad to visit Pakistan amid growing violence in Afghanistan

Zalmay Khalilzad will also visit Qatar and Uzbekistan

WASHINGTON: Top US peace broker Zalmay Khalilzad has begun his shuttle diplomacy tour of Qatar, Uzbekistan and Pakistan amid ensuing violence across Afghanistan.

Taking to Twitter, the US diplomat said he was returning to Doha and the region to continue “determined diplomacy” in pursuit of a peace agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban.

“We will work vigorously with all Afghan parties and regional and international stakeholders to try and help the sides find a path to ending this war, one that ensures Afghanistan’s security, unity, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and ends the agony of the Afghan people,” Khalilzad added.

The US special representative for Afghanistan went on to say, “America’s military engagement in Afghanistan is coming to an end. Our commitment to Afghanistan is not.”

This came amid reports of renewed talks between the Taliban and the Afghan officials over five key issues in the Qatari capital. Afghanistan’s local news outlet reported that the talks focused on issues, including a future constitution, ceasefire, political roadmap, and political participation in the transition period.

Meanwhile, the US State Department said Khalilzad will work with all parties as well as regional and international stakeholders to further advance a consensus on a political settlement in the war-torn country.

In Tashkent, Khalilzad is also set to participate in an international conference hosted by the Uzbek government on regional connectivity.

Since US President Joe Biden announced an exit plan from Afghanistan in May, the Taliban have captured over 150 districts in the war-weary country. Afghan forces, meanwhile, have claimed to kill around 200 insurgents in counterterrorism offensives on a daily basis.