Officials in Islamabad said on Monday that the US President Donald Trump has written to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, seeking his support in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table to end the 17-year brutal war in trouble-torn Afghanistan.
The development came weeks after Trump said Pakistan does not do “a damn thing” for the US, alleging that Islamabad had helped al-Qaeda Chief Osama bin Laden hide near its garrison city of Abbottabad.
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The Pakistan Foreign Office said that the President Trump, in a letter, has sought Pakistan’s cooperation in bringing the Taliban to negotiating table. In the letter, Trump “stated that his most important regional priority was achieving a negotiated settlement of the Afghan war. In this regard, he has sought Pakistan’s support and facilitation,” the Foreign Office said.
The President also acknowledged that the war had cost for both the US and Pakistan, and emphasised that both the countries “should explore opportunities to work together and renew partnership”.
Pakistan welcomes the decision to explore ways for a political settlement of the Afghan issue. “Since Pakistan has always advocated a political settlement to end the war in Afghanistan, US decision is welcomed,” Foreign Office said.
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Pakistan also reiterated its commitment to play a facilitation role in good faith, stressing that peace and stability in Afghanistan was a shared responsibility.
Ties between the US and Pakistan strained after the Trump administration cancelled USD 300 million in military aid to Islamabad for not doing enough against terror groups like the Haqqani Network and the Taliban active on its soil.
Last month, the Pentagon said that the US has suspended USD 1.66 billion in security assistance to Pakistan after President Trump’s directive.
The Trump administration, in the recent months, has intensified its efforts to seek a negotiated settlement of America’s longest war in Afghanistan where the US has lost over 2,400 soldiers since late 2001, when it invaded the country after the 9/11 terror attacks.