The US' demand for maintaining long-term military bases in Afghanistan has emerged as a sticking point in talks with the Taliban to end the 17-year-long war in the country, according to a media report here.
The report came as the US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, stepped up efforts to bring the Taliban to negotiations, with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Russia and Iran involved in discussions with the Taliban over the past few months.
The Express Tribune reported quoting officials that the US in return of its demand would provide substantial financial assistance for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan in the post-peace deal.
Although the Taliban have repeatedly demanded complete withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan, they showed an inclination to discuss the suggestion of the US maintaining certain bases in the recent negotiations held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
One senior official, who is privy to the negotiations, told The Express Tribune that Washington wants to maintain 'permanent bases' in Afghanistan.
"And that's been the sticking point in the ongoing talks," added the official, who requested anonymity since he was not authorised to the media on the subject.
The official said, according to the US, those bases would have no role in the Afghan security but meant for maintaining presence for an overall regional stability.
The other objective includes maintaining close contact with the future Afghan governments in order to ensure that the country does not become a safe haven for any terrorist organisations.
Pakistan is not averse to the US' demand but wants a 'regional consensus' on it since permanent presence of the US military in Afghanistan would certainly raise eyebrows in Russia, Iran and even China.
These countries fear that the US may use the Afghan soil to advance its own strategic designs in the region.
And that was the reason Pakistan wanted to evolve a regional consensus on the possible Afghan peace deal, said the official.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)