Days after US President Donald Trump cancelled peace dialogue with the Afghan Taliban, US Department of Defense has announced that it will send a high-level delegation to Islamabad next week. The delegation is likely to hold meetings with the Pakistani civil and military leadership.
The announcement was made by US Secretary of Defense Randall Schriver during an event at Pakistan embassy.
Speaking at the event, Randall Schriver acknowledged Pakistan’s assistance in facilitating the US talks with the Afghan Taliban over a Peace and Reconciliation Deal. “We are appreciative of Pakistani leadership in its cooperation in achieving the objective of peace in the region,” Randall Schriver said.
We have not gotten across the finish line yet. We appreciate everything Pakistan has done to get us to this point, and we appreciate the cooperation that we know we will continue over that very important work. Our intent is to be aspirational and talk about where we can go on the future and how we can even strengthen and improve cooperation, all the challenges that we have notwithstanding, US Secretary of Defense said.
It is expected that the US delegation will seek Pakistan’s support in compelling Afghan Taliban to ensure seizure of terror strikes against the US soldiers in Afghanistan.
Pakistan is also expected to play its role in re-initiating the cancelled talks between US administration and the Afghan Taliban.
The Afghan peace dialogue struggled to bring the Afghan government as a stakeholder because Taliban refused to acknowledge their existence and importance in the overall process.
Analysts say that US’s main agenda is to withdraw from Afghanistan at the earliest through a peace deal with the Taliban.
However, with Afghan government completely sidelined and ignored from the process, and ongoing terror strikes by the Taliban in Afghanistan may just make it impossible to give any credibility to the deal.