Moeed Yusuf, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser (NSA), says Washington’s lack of effort in engaging Islamabad baffles him.
Moeed Yusuf, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser (NSA), says Washington’s lack of effort in engaging Islamabad baffles him. “The president of the United States hasn’t spoken to the prime minister of such an important country who the US itself says is make-or-break in some cases, in some ways, in Afghanistan — we struggle to understand the signal, right?” Yusuf told the Financial Times in an interview at Pakistan’s embassy in Washington.
“We’ve been told every time that . . . [the phone call] will happen, it’s technical reasons or whatever. But frankly, people don’t believe it.”
Despite the fact that the US has asked Pakistan for help in halting the Taliban’s progress as US forces leave Afghanistan, US President Joe Biden has yet to speak with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on the matter.
Yusuf, who expressed his displeasure over the cold shoulder by Washington, said, “If a phone call is a concession if a security relationship is a concession, Pakistan has options.”
Responding to the NSA’s complaint, a senior Biden administration official clarified: “There are still a number of world leaders President Biden has not been able to speak with personally yet. He looks forward to speaking with Prime Minister Khan when the time is right.”
Yusuf is now in Washington, DC, to address the Afghan problem as US forces prepare to leave the country. He is part of a mission that includes the chief of Pakistan’s spy agency, the ISI.
“Let me be categorical if the prime minister had not instructed me and the delegation to be here, we won’t have been here,” said Yusuf.
On July 30, Zed Tarar, a US spokesman for the Office of International Media Engagement in London, stated that the fact that the US president hasn’t called Pakistan’s prime minister in over six months doesn’t imply ties between the two countries aren’t good.
“The officials of the two administrations are in regular contact with each other and cooperating at various levels, as normal. I don’t want to go into the logistics of the telephone call matter. Only a few days ago, the US gave three million vaccine doses to Pakistan as a goodwill gesture,” Tarar said, during an interaction with the Pakistani media.
According to the ambassador, ties between the United States and Pakistan are built on “mutual respect” and the two nations have a “long relationship.” He said that deeds speak louder than words and that this is evident in the two nations’ ties.