US Defends Pakistan’s ‘Critical Role’ in Afghanistan Despite Growing Criticism Over ‘Taliban Ties’

World

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan last week blasted the US for “really messing it up” in Afghanistan by trying to find a “military solution” to the conflict, as he reckoned that such a prospect had never existed in the first place. He also sought evidence to back claims that Pakistan was providing safe haven to the Taliban* insurgents.

The United States has lauded efforts of the Pakistani leadership in advancing the intra-Afghan talks, as the South Asian country faces growing criticism over its alleged backing of the Taliban amid the ongoing hostilities in Afghanistan.

The US State Department official noted that Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf on 30 July met his American counterpart Jake Sullivan, where the security situation in Afghanistan figured prominently on the bilateral agenda.

“I met with Pakistan’s NSA today to consult on regional connectivity and security, and other areas of mutual cooperation. We discussed the urgent need for a reduction in violence in Afghanistan and a negotiat​ed political settlement to the conflict,” Sullivan said after the meeting.

The Biden administration’s backing of Islamabad over its role in Afghanistan comes against the backdrop of growing censure of Prime Minister Khan’s government by the administration of President Ashraf Ghani in neighbouring Kabul.

At a regional connectivity conference in Tashkent last month, President Ghani accused Pakistan of helping with the…

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