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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad has termed Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s remarks on reassessing ties with Pakistan ‘surprising’, saying that Pakistan played a positive role in the Afghan peace process.
Addressing a weekly press briefing on Thursday, the spokesman noted that Pakistan’s positive role in the Afghan peace process, facilitation of the multinational evacuation, and continued support for an inclusive political settlement had been “duly acknowledged”, including by the US state department.
The FO spokesperson recalled that Pakistan had played a “critical role” in helping the US degrade Al Qaeda’s core leadership in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan had always maintained that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and a political settlement was the only plausible pathway to sustainable peace in the country,” he added.
He added that achieving an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan that reflected the country’s diversity and protected the gains made during the last two decades remained a “shared objective” of Pakistan and the US.
“We look forward to building on this convergence while also strengthening other aspects of a broad-based and constructive relationship,” he added.
Replying to another question regarding trade of nuclear material in India, Asim Iftikhar said it was a serious threat to peace and security of the world.
He said it also exposed India’s institutional inability to control and stop such kind of incidents and the international community and relevant agencies should take notice of this practice.
‘Washington will reassess relationship with Pakistan’
On September 14, US Secretary of State Blinken had said that Washington will reassess its relationship with Pakistan in the coming days.
According to Reuters, the US had made it clear to Pakistan that it did not want Islamabad to recognise the Taliban government until it doesn’t give women their due rights and allows Afghans who want to leave the country, to do so.
US Secretary of State Blinken had told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that Pakistan has a “multiplicity of interests, some that are in conflict with ours.”
“It is one that involved hedging its bets constantly about the future of Afghanistan, it’s one that’s involved harboring members of the Taliban. It is one that’s also involved in different points cooperation with us on counterterrorism,” Blinken had said.
Asked by lawmakers if it is time for Washington to reassess its relationship with Pakistan, Blinken had said the administration would soon be doing that.