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Mullah Baradar released by Pak at the behest of US: Khalilzad

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Top who now leads the peace efforts with the US, was released by the at the behest of the Trump Administration, an US said.

The on Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, told a audience that had a very crucial role to play in the reconciliation process with the but has "historically not played a positive role".

But there is "a positive change" in Pakistan's attitude in recent times, he said when asked about the role of in his ongoing efforts to bring peace in this war-ravaged country.

"The release of Mullah Baradar, which was my request... they (Pakistan) accommodated that, because has reputation of being more open, more pro-peace," said the top American who is leading the Trump Administration's efforts to have peace talks with the

Former and his successor have said that Baradar can play a pivotal role in the peace process and that he has tried to facilitate talks between the Taliban and the US, Khalilzad said.

Pakistan, he said, favours inter-Afghan dialogue including between the Taliban and the government.

So, the release of Baradar is a very positive thing, he said.

"We always would like Pakistan, like other countries to do more, but we appreciate what they have done so far and I have indicated and (of State), (Mike) Pompeo and the that we want to have good relations with Pakistan, better relations with Pakistan," he said in response to a question.

"What they (Pakistan) do on to facilitate peace and reconciliation, which has been a burden on the relationship, that will be removed," he added.

"is an important country with which we want to have better relations," he said.

"The role that Pakistan has played in terms of its relationship with the Taliban and the Haqqani network has been a burden on this (US-Pak) relationship. They say they want peace. We welcome that. We want them to, to play a positive role," said the who has had several rounds of talks with the the Taliban in

"Most of the meetings we have had with the Taliban have not been in Pakistan. It has been in other countries. I think the message that I have here is a peace in will help our relations with Pakistan," he added.

"Peace in Afghanistan will help Afghan-Pakistan relations... regional connectivity. Pakistan will be a beneficiary of that. Let's seize this opportunity, this moment for the region for Afghanistan, especially for the obviously long suffering people of Afghanistan," Khalilzad said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, February 09 2019. 07:15 IST