Pakistan on Monday nominated its new ambassador to Afghanistan as direct negotiations between Taliban and Kabul aiming to finish practically 20 years of battle are set to start.

Mansoor Ahmad Khan, a veteran diplomat, referred to as on Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi within the capital Islamabad earlier than leaving for Kabul, an announcement by Pakistan’s Overseas Ministry mentioned.

Qureshi, it mentioned, hoped the appointment of an skilled {and professional} diplomat like Khan would assist enhance bilateral ties.

Khan, who had been serving as Islamabad’s Everlasting Consultant to UN and different worldwide organizations based mostly in Austria since July 2018, is assuming the workplace at a time when the Afghan peace course of has entered a vital part.

Following the completion of prisoners trade — launch of 5,000 Taliban in return of 1,000 captive safety forces — intra-Afghan dialogue is more likely to be held in Doha, Qatar, this week.

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Islamabad’s affect over the Taliban is seen as essential to courtroom the warring militia.

In December 2018, Pakistan organized uncommon direct talks between Washington and the Taliban, which led to a peace deal this February.

Below the settlement, the US dedicated to withdraw all international forces from Afghanistan by July 2021.

In return, the insurgents pledged to forestall terrorist teams from utilizing Afghan soil for assaults, and promised to hunt reconciliation with different Afghan teams by means of a dialogue course of.

Islamabad additionally facilitated the landmark first spherical of direct talks between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban in Pakistan in July 2015.

The method, nonetheless, broke down after the information of long-time Taliban chief Mullah Omar’s dying surfaced, triggering a bitter inside energy wrestle.

It was additional hampered by the killing of Omer’s successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, in a US drone strike on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in 2016.

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US President Donald Trump final yr stepped up efforts to renew the long-stalled course of, searching for Pakistan’s assist to finish Washington’s longest battle in latest historical past.