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US and Pakistan’s top diplomats to meet on Afghanistan conflict


US and Pakistan’s top diplomats to meet on Afghanistan conflict

mike pompeo pakistan
mike pompeo pakistan
Photo: AP/PTI

Today, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will hold talks with his US counterpart Mike Pompeo in Washington DC.

Peace talks in Afghanistan are set to be a major agenda item. On September 5 the newly elected government of PM Imran Khan said that it will use “whatever influence” the country has to promote reconciliation and the eventual restoration of Afghan security.

While relations between the two countries have frequently been tested by US assertions that high-level collaboration is occurring between Pakistan’s intelligence services and the Taliban, the US is now reported to be pursuing talks with the Taliban through back-channels.

Recent figures suggest that some 70% of Afghanistan’s territory is controlled or contested by the Afghan Taliban. This has led to concern about the re-emergence of a Taliban government—a reality the US government is well aware of, as demonstrated by reports that US withdrawal from Afghanistan may be pending.

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This will trigger a major shift in regional security and therefore have a significant impact on Pakistan. Therefore expect withdrawal, in addition to the suspension of 300 million in US military aid, to be major discussion points.

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