The United States has made it clear to Pakistan that it will not recognise the Taliban government until it grants equal rights to women and allows Afghans who wish to leave the country to do so.
US Secretary of State Blinken told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that Pakistan has a “multiplicity of interests, some of which are in contradiction 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 said.
When asked by lawmakers whether it is time for the United States to reassess its relationship with Pakistan, Blinken said the administration will do so soon.
“This is one of the things we’re going to be looking at in the days, and weeks ahead – the role that Pakistan has played over the last 20 years but also the role we would want to see it play in the coming years and what it will take for it to do that,” he said.
The US departure from Afghanistan was marked by a hastily organised evacuation that left thousands of US-allied Afghans behind, as well as a suicide bombing outside Kabul’s airport that killed 13 US soldiers and dozens of Afghans.
In the wake of the Taliban’s triumph, the US and Western countries are stuck in a difficult balancing act, reluctant to recognise the group while recognising the fact that they will have to deal with them to avoid an impending humanitarian catastrophe.
Pakistan has long maintained connections with the Taliban and has been accused of aiding the organisation in its 20-year war against the US-backed government in Kabul, charges that Islamabad rejects.