Diplomacy

The two-day state visit is set to start February 16.

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad's recent visit to Pakistan was meant to push the Pakistani authorities to convince the Taliban to engage in direct talks the Afghan government.

The delegation expressed Afghanistan's desire to work closely with Pakistan on finding a political solution to peace with the Taliban.

Iran reportedly has recruited more than 1,600 Pakistanis in the past six months to fight in its militias in Syria and is running influence campaigns in an attempt to change Pakistani public opinion.

The Taliban are spreading conspiracy theories in an attempt to undermine a meeting of religious scholars aimed at finding a solution to the war in Afghanistan.

Despite the hurdles, recent goodwill gestures shown by Prime Minister Imran Khan to establish peaceful ties with India are a positive step.

Analysts say the US Secretary of State's recent visit to Pakistan carries the potential to 'reset' the recently strained relationship between the two countries.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was 'pleased' with his meetings with Pakistani officials and hopeful that Pakistan will support the US efforts to end the Afghan conflict.

The cross-border movement of militants to and from Afghanistan has strained Pakistani-US relations in recent years.

'Pakistan has an important role to play' in the Afghan peace process, said US envoy Alice Wells.

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