US support Pakistan role in resolving Afghan crisis
September 17, 2021
The US State Department has urged Pakistan to play a constructive role in convincing the Taliban to keep their promises. At a congressional hearing on Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the US would be reviewing its relationship with Pakistan in the coming weeks to determine what role Islamabad should play in Afghanistan’s future. “We have kept in touch with our Pakistani counterparts as well as the Pakistani leadership on a regular basis. “We’ve had some in-depth discussions about Afghanistan,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said during a news briefing in Washington on Wednesday afternoon.
When asked to comment on the secretary’s statement, the spokesperson stated that Mr. Blinken was referring to public statements made by Pakistan and other countries in the region in support of the Afghan people. Secretary Blinken urged these countries to “work constructively to ensure that the priorities that we share are met.” Priorities include humanitarian concerns, the protection of Afghan people’s rights, and the gains made over the last 20 years of American presence in Afghanistan, he added.
“We must all ensure that we are all walking in the same direction,” Mr. Price said, highlighting the significance of ensuring that Afghanistan is no longer used as a launch pad for terrorist attacks on other countries. Mr. Price recalled that Pakistan had frequently advocated for an inclusive government with widespread support in Afghanistan, and that “we will continue to look to Pakistan and other countries in the region to make good on their public statements and commitments they have made.”
He added that the commitments include “working constructively with the US and the international community to ensure that they were on the same page on shared priorities, including humanitarian concerns, rights and gains of the Afghan people over the last 20 years, as well as counterterrorism concerns.” Mr. Price noted that Pakistan took part in the ministerial meeting convened by Secretary Blinken and his German counterpart last week at Ramstein Airbase in Germany. “Pakistan contributed to that forum, echoing much of what other participants said,” he said. It is in everyone’s best interests to alleviate the humanitarian plight of the Afghan people. This includes Pakistan as well as countries further afield,” he explained.