The Afghan Taliban expressed willingness to travel to Pakistan and meet Prime Minister Imran Khan if he invites them for negotiations to end the 18-year conflict in Afghanistan, according to report on Friday.
The statement by the Taliban came hours after PM Imran Khan returned to Islamabad after his maiden official visit to the US where he discussed the Afghan peace process with US President Donald Trump on Monday and agreed to work together to end to the conflict.
During Khan visit to the US, President Trump had said that Pakistan would help the US “extricate” itself from Afghanistan.
“There was tremendous potential in the relationship between Washington and Islamabad”. he added.
Sohail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar’s capital Doha told the BBC Urdu that if Prime Minister Khan extended a formal invitation, they will accept it.
“We frequently visit countries in the region and would surely go to Pakistan too which is our Muslim neighbour, if there is a formal invitation from Islamabad,” he said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani “agreed to accelerate efforts” to end the war in Afghanistan on Thursday, a joint statement said that was issued by the US State Department on Friday.
On Tuesday, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani had asked US government to clarify about President Donald Trump’s remark where he claimed that “he could easily win the war in 10 days” but that he didn’t “want to kill millions of people”.
Earlier, the US had reportedly put pressure on Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to take “irreversible action” against terrorist and militant groups and to “facilitate peace talks” with the Taliban for intra-Afghan dialogue, according to the White House.