Washington’s point man in talks aimed at ending decades of war in Afghanistan made a brief visit on Monday to Pakistan as relations between Islamabad and Kabul reached a new low.
Zalmay Khalilzad’s visit came just hours after Afghanistan withdrew its ambassador from Pakistan late Sunday after the diplomat’s daughter was brutally attacked last week. The US envoy met with Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa but nothing was immediately known of their discussions.
Khalilzad arrived in Islamabad from Qatar where the Taliban and Afghan government representatives have held two days of talks that ended late Sunday, with a promise by the warring sides to meet again.
Amid heightened tensions between the two neighbours, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi telephoned his Afghan counterpart Mohammad Haneef Atmar and assured him of taking all steps to arrest the culprits involved in the kidnapping of 26-year-old Silsila Alikhil, the daughter of Afghanistan’s ambassador Najibullah Alikhil.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is fully aware of the diplomatic norms, and security of the Afghan embassy and consulate in Pakistan has been enhanced, Radio Pakistan quoted Qureshi as saying.
Pakistan all-weather friend China, too, strongly condemned the abduction and assault of Silsila.
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