ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

US top peace negotiator for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has thanked Pakistan for their ongoing efforts toward ending conflict in the war-torn country.

Khalizad met with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday and discussed the Afghan peace process in Afghanistan, according to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Islamabad.

“Ambassador Khalilzad thanked Pakistani officials for their ongoing efforts to advance the peace process and noted how close the sides are to starting intra-Afghan negotiations and the importance of resolving remaining issues quickly, underscoring the promise peace holds for regional stability and development,” said the embassy statement.

Qureshi welcomed the latest developments including announcements on formation of the negotiating team and establishment of High Council of National Reconciliation to move forward for the intra-Afghan talks, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said in its weekly briefing.

He expressed the hope that the release of prisoners will be completed soon to pave the way for the intra-Afghan talks.

Khalilzad also expressed condolences on the loss of lives in the terrorist attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange building in the commercial capital Karachi.

Four gunmen armed with grenades attacked the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Monday, killing two guards and a policeman before being killed by law enforcement officers.

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