By Aamir Latif and Islamuddin Sajid
KARACHI / ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said the United States had finally recognized Islamabad’s role and contribution to the efforts aimed at bringing a negotiated end to the 17-year conflict in neighboring Afghanistan.
“The U.S. wants our cooperation for peace in Afghanistan, but we want to do something more than that. I believe we should be part of it. We will do our best to facilitate the dialogue in Afghanistan,” Khan was quoted as saying by the local media.
Briefing the Cabinet about the recent visit of U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, Khan said: "Pakistan's role in the region is being recognized."
The U.S. envoy on Tuesday held a series of meetings with top Pakistani leadership in yet another attempt to court Islamabad to help bring the Taliban to talks for ending the war.
His visit -- the third following his selection as the special representative in September -- came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump's letter to Khan seeking the country's help in Afghanistan.
Pakistan army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor admitted that Islamabad did not enjoy the same level of influence over Taliban which it used to in the past.
"Pakistan has not much influence over Afghan Taliban, however still we will cooperate with the U.S. and facilitate the negotiations to make the peace process successful,” Ghafoor said while addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Thursday.
Responding to a series of questions regarding peace talks, he said: "War has not succeeded in Afghanistan, so negotiations is the only way to resolve the crisis."