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The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, has sought Pakistan's help in obtaining freedom of American contractor Mark Frerichs who was kidnapped in Afghanistan in January this year.
According to a statement issued by US Embassy here Saturday, Ambassador Khalilzad visited Pakistan on Friday and met with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
It stated that Ambassador Khalilzad discussed ongoing efforts by the United States to advance the Afghan peace process, and sought Pakistan's support in pressing for a reduction in violence, the immediate start of intra-Afghan negotiations, and assistance in helping obtain the freedom of American Mark Frerichs. "Pakistan's military leaders reaffirmed their support for US efforts," the embassy further stated. Frerichs, a US Navy veteran turned contractor was abducted by militants in late January this year.
"Lengthy meeting overnight with Mullah Baradar & his team in Doha. We sought progress on a range of topics: a reduction in violence, humanitarian ceasefire as demanded by the international community to allow for better cooperation on managing COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan," Khalilzad said in a series of tweets.
He said that the discussion also covered the acceleration of prisoner releases by both sides.
"[Also] actions necessary to secure the freedom of US citizen Mark Frerichs, regional & international support for the peace process and movement to intra-Afghan negotiations ASAP. Will meet again after my trip to India and Pakistan," he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020