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Pakistan’s army on Thursday threw its support behind the latest U.S. efforts for a political settlement with the Afghan Taliban to end a 17-year-old war, urging Washington to leave Kabul as a friend of the region rather than a “failure”.
The comments by Pakistan’s army spokesman, Major-General Asif Ghafoor, came just after the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, concluded a visit to the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.
“As much as we can, we will facilitate,” Ghafoor told a news conference in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, replying to a query about what Pakistan could do to help the United States negotiate a political settlement with the Taliban.
“What the U.S. is expecting from us, and the foreign office is cooperating with, is that somehow they could have these negotiations with them (Taliban).”Ghafoor added, “We wish that (the) U.S. leaves Afghanistan as friend of the region, not as a failure.” He did not elaborate.