U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad due in Pakistan today

Why has Donald Trump just written a personal letter to Imran Khan?

Why has Donald Trump just written a personal letter to Imran Khan?

Pakistan's Foreign Office (FO) said the President, in a letter, has sought Pakistan's help with faltering Afghan peace talks and cooperation in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table. The American leader went on to emphasize that the two countries "should explore opportunities to work together and renew partnership", the spokesman added.

In a letter, Trump sought assistance from Pakistan in resolving Afghan issue, aimed at ending the 17-year invasion of Afghanistan by the U.S. troops.

The President also acknowledged that the war had cost both the United States and Pakistan, and emphasised that both the countries "should explore opportunities to work together and renew partnership".

Imtiaz Gul, a Pakistani analyst, said Trump's letter indicates there is a realization within the USA administration that Pakistan's cooperation is vital to ensuring peace in Afghanistan.

In the letter, Trump said a settlement is "his most important regional priority", the Pakistani foreign ministry stated.

"They have said all along that the negotiations in Afghanistan have to be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led".

Ties between the U.S. and Pakistan strained after Trump, while announcing his Afghanistan and South Asia policy in August previous year, hit out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to "agents of chaos" that kill Americans in Afghanistan and warned Islamabad that it has "much to lose" by harbouring terrorists.




"Pakistan reiterates its commitment to play the role of facilitator in good faith", the ministry statement said.

He stressed that all Afghans must have a say in creating a sustainable peace for Afghanistan.

The Pakistani leader insisted his country was being made "a scapegoat" for US military "failures" in Afghanistan.

When Mr Trump levelled his accusation about bin Laden last month, Islamabad said "such baseless rhetoric ... was totally unacceptable". An NSC spokesperson described the letter in a statement as asking for "full support for the USA -led Afghan peace process", but the phrase "U.S. -led" was later removed.

The development comes as Washington steps up efforts to hold peace talks with the resurgent Taliban, more than 17 years after the invasion of Afghanistan.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was expected to arrive in Pakistan this week during his visit to the region to revive peace talks with the Taliban. "The opposition can walk away if they cannot support us", pronounced the PM.

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