Pakistan ‘surprised’ over Blinken’s remarks about ties reassessment

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ISLAMABAD – Foreign Office Spokespersons Asim Iftikhar Ahmed said on Saturday that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s remarks that Washington will re-assess its ties with Islamabad is “surprising”.

Responding to a question during weekly press briefing, he said that Pakistan had played an imperative role in the recent evolving situation in Afghanistan.

He said that Blinken’s remarks were “not in line with the close cooperation between Pakistan and the United States”.

“This was surprising as Pakistan’s positive role in the Afghan peace process, recent facilitation of the multinational evacuation effort from Afghanistan, and continued support for an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan have been duly acknowledged, including most recently by the US State Department spokesperson,” FO spokesperson said.

He recalled that Pakistan had played a critical role in helping the US degrading Al Qaeda’s core leadership in Afghanistan, which was the main objective of international coalition.

“At the same time, Pakistan had always maintained that there was no military solution to the larger Afghan conflict and that a political settlement offered the only plausible pathway to sustainable peace in Afghanistan — a position now shared by the United States,” he said.

“We look forward to building on this convergence while also strengthening other aspects of a broad-based and constructive relationship,” the spokesperson added.

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