ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and the United States aim to complete the Afghan peace mission more than two months after the Afghan Taliban and Washington signed a peace deal.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan was committed to the peace in the region. “We played a key role for peace and we will continue to so. The aim of all the parties is to establish permanent peace in Afghanistan,” he told The Nation.

Qureshi said Islamabad was optimistic for peace in Afghanistan despite misunderstandings among the Afghan groups. Over the weekend, the US asked Pakistan to use its influence to press the warring Taliban for the "immediate" start of intra-Afghan negotiations aimed at ending Washington's longest war in neighboring Afghanistan.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy for Afghanistan, visited the region this week to meet Taliban negotiators, and officials in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India to seek their support for speeding up the intra-Afghan negotiations - a key component of a historic peace deal struck between Washington and the Taliban in February. In Islamabad, Khalilzad met army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa on May 8 seeking his support in pressing the Taliban for a reduction in violence, the immediate start of intra-Afghan negotiations, according to a statement from the US Embassy in Islamabad.

“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 and the immediate start of intra-Afghan negotiations,” the statement said.

Khalilzad also sought Islamabad’s assistance in helping obtain the freedom of an American national Mark Frerichs, a Navy veteran turned contractor, who was reportedly abducted by powerful Haqqani network in Afghanistan late January.

Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said Pakistan played a positive role in the Afghan peace talks and desired an early settlement in the Afghan issue. She said Pakistan will continue facilitating the peace process in Afghanistan.