The United States Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan who briefed reporters on his visit to Afghanistan said all militant groups in Afghanistan are ready to the join peace process except the Taliban who by their deadly attacks on civilians showed that they do not have the intention to leave violence.
The US deputy secretary visited Kabul on Tuesday where he held talks with Afghan leaders.
He told reporters that the US’s South-Asia strategy is focusing on putting the Taliban under military, economic and political pressure to make the group join the Afghan peace process.
“The United States remain firmly committed to supporting the Afghan people and their government's efforts to achieve peace, security and prosperity for their country,” he said. “While in Kabul, I had the opportunity to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani and other government leaders. During each of these meetings, Afghanistan's leadership made it clear to me that despite the recent tragic events, the Afghan government will continue to work to create the necessary conditions to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table and establish an environment for a sustained peace.... Unfortunately, at this stage everyone but the Taliban appears ready for peace. The Taliban's reprehensible attacks targeting innocent civilians demonstrate that they are not ready to enter into good faith peace negotiations,” said Sullivan.
He said US wants Pakistan to eliminate terrorists’ safe havens on its soil to overcome the conflict in Afghanistan.
"We have made clear to the Pakistani government our expectations for them to take action against terrorists that are in sanctuaries in Pakistan to reduce the pressure and the threat of violence in Afghanistan and to contribute to a lasting and enduring peace in Afghanistan and in the region,”said Sullivan.
Meanwhile, Pentagon Chief spokesperson Dana White said they call on Islamabad to join the US in counter-terrorism efforts, despite it has supported terrorist groups.
"We have said many times that Pakistan has an opportunity. It has been a victim of terrorism and has supported terrorism. And we are looking for Pakistan to activly join. It can do the things we need them to do to confront terrorism,” said White.
The White House this week said US President Donald Trump has provided the US commanders with more resources and authority to target terrorists’ sanctuaries in Afghanistan and Pakistan.