US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that Pakistan features a vital role in influencing the Taliban and therefore the US hopes that Islamabad plays that role.
Secretary Blinken’s remarks, in an interview to varied international television channels, come amid a key visit to Washington by Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf and therefore the Director-General of Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed.
“Pakistan features a vital role to play in using its influence with the Taliban to try to do whatever it can to form sure that the Taliban doesn’t seek to require the country by force,” the highest US diplomat told the days of India channel. “And it does have influence, and it does have a task to play, and that we hope that it plays it,” he added.
Secretary Blinken, who completed his two-day visit to India on Thursday, met External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and reviewed the newest developments within the region, particularly in Afghanistan, with them.
In an interview with ABC News, Secretary Blinken said that the whole world was hearing “deeply, deeply troubling” reports of atrocities in Afghanistan amid US withdrawal. And such reports “certainly don’t speak well of the Taliban’s intentions for the country as an entire .”
In an interview with Al Jazeera, the US Secretary of State warned that an Afghanistan that “does not respect the essential gains of the last 20 years, that Afghanistan are going to be a pariah within the international community.”
The interviews, released by the secretary’s office in Washington, reflect the growing US concern that the Taliban were determined to require Kabul by force, rejecting international efforts for bringing a government that has all Afghan factions.
Although committed to withdrawing all US and Nato troops from Afghanistan by Sept 15, the Biden administration is using its diplomatic influence to stop a Taliban takeover and that’s where it sees a task for Pakistan.
While Pakistan also wants to stop a military takeover in Kabul, Prime Minister Imran Khan told a US television program — PBS News Hour — in the week that the US decision to line a timetable for withdrawing troops also has limited Islamabad’s options.
The prime minister indicated that the Taliban see the withdrawal as their victory and are less receptive to reconciliation efforts than they might are had the timetable not been announced.
The Pakistani team, which arrived in Washington three days ago, is additionally busy explaining its position in meetings with senior US officials, lawmakers, think-tank experts, and media representatives.