Taliban Being Used As Hedge Against India : US Officer

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Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran Khan had met Khalilzad in the federal capital where the latter relayed Trump's message and said Washington wants Islamabad's support in seeking for a peaceful and political resolution in Afghanistan.

Trump's request follows a month of often harsh presidential language about Pakistan.

The assessment comes as both western-backed security forces and the Taliban have pushed to gain momentum as the U.S. has stepped up efforts to find a peaceful settlement to end the 17-year-long war in Afghanistan.

Pakistan's foreign ministry said on Monday that US President Donald Trump has written a letter to prime minister Imran Khan seeking Islamabad's support in securing a "negotiated settlement" to the war in Afghanistan.

In his turn, foreign minister Qureshi assured the United States side of Pakistan's steadfast support for a negotiated settlement, he added.

On Tuesday, a political delegation from the Taliban's Doha office arrived in Islamabad for additional talks with Khalizad, a Taliban source told ABC News. "Long-lasting peace in Afghanistan is in Pakistan's best interest", the foreign minister tweeted.

Last month, Trump said Pakistan doesn't "do a damn thing" for the United States despite billions of dollars in U.S. aid.

Pakistan could play a key role in facilitating talks between the Taliban and government of Afghanistan, he said, adding, "I would welcome that development".

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McKenzie said that Afghan forces are still unable to effectively withstand the Taliban fighters, who now number about 60,000 in Afghanistan.

U.S. officials have always been pushing Pakistan to lean on Taliban leaders, who Washington says are based inside Pakistan, to bring them to the negotiating table.

The fight in Afghanistan is at a stalemate, and the significant number of Afghan troop deaths in the war is not sustainable, the Marine officer nominated to command US forces in the Middle East told lawmakers on Tuesday.

Trump's letter came as the United States announced Zalmay Khalilzad will make another visit starting this week as special envoy to the region.

"Probably Pakistan knows very clearly that their assistance will be required to reach an end-state in Afghanistan".

Khalilzad will also travel to other regional countries including Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to seek support for his mission.

President Ghani on November 28 laid out what he called a "road map" for peace talks with the Taliban and said his government had formed a 12-person team for the negotiations.