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US to reassess ties with Pakistan over Afghanistan future, says Blinken

The US is going to be looking at its ties with Pakistan in the coming weeks to formulate the role America wants Islamabad to play in the future of Afghanistan, Secretary of State informed Congress

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Antony Blinken | Afghanistan | United States

ANI 

Antony Blinken. Photo: Bloomberg
Antony Blinken. Photo: Bloomberg

The US is going to be looking at its ties with Pakistan in the coming weeks to formulate the role America wants Islamabad to play in the future of Afghanistan, Secretary of State informed Congress.

During his first testimony in Congress after the seized control of Kabul, Secretary of State Blinken noted that Pakistan has "harboured" members of the including the terrorists from the proscribed Haqqani network.

Asked by lawmakers if it is time for Washington to reassess its relationship with Pakistan, Blinken said: "We are going to be looking at in the days and weeks ahead, the role that Pakistan has played over the last 20 years, but also the role that we would want to see it playing in the coming years."

Blinken made the remarks during his first testimony before Congress since the took control of Kabul.

The top US diplomat laid out the Biden administration's posture toward the Taliban in remarks to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

When asked about how the US sees Pakistan's involvement in Afghanistan, Blinken said Pakistan has a "multiplicity of interests", including some that are in "clear conflict" with that of the

He added that India's involvement in has influenced some "detrimental" actions by Pakistan.

Pakistan has been accused of providing overt and covert support to the Taliban. Early this month, former Afghan vice president Amrullah Saleh asserted that the Taliban are being micromanaged by Pakistan notorious intelligence agency--the ISI, adding that Islamabad is in charge of the war-ravaged country effectively as a colonial power.

During the testimony, US lawmaker Bill Keating reminded Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's remarks after the Taliban seized control that "had broken the shackles of slavery". He said that Pakistan's ISI had such strong ties in cooperation with the Haqqani Network, "responsible for so many things including the deaths of some of our soldiers, and even recently when the Taliban took over in the last month".

"Prime Minister Khan claimed had broken the shackles of slavery. So we used to always hear diplomatically that we have a complicated relationship with Pakistan. I would say it's often duplicitous," he said.

Keating asked Blinken: "How do we reassess that relationship how we, how we learn from their actions? And when we go forward. What do we do, what are some of the big issues that we should have stakes in the ground that we should have in dealing with Pakistan and the way they've acted over these decades?"

To which, Blinken said Pakistan is involved in "hedging its bets constantly" about the future of Afghanistan."It's one that's involved harbouring members of the Taliban, including the Haqqanis. It's one that's also involved at different points, cooperation with us on counterterrorism, and so there are a number of things that have come into play it. It has a multiplicity of interests, some that are in conflict, clear conflict with ours," he said.

"When it comes to Afghanistan, it's focused, of course as well, on India and the role that India is playing in Afghanistan, and it looks at it through that prism as well. All of these things, I think, have influenced what it has done on many occasions detrimental to our interests. On other occasions in support of those interests," he added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, September 14 2021. 08:07 IST
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