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Pakistan involved in harbouring Taliban militants, says US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Blinken told the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the first public hearing on Afghanistan since the fall of the US-backed Afghan government last month that Pakistan had a "multiplicity of interests, some of which contradict ours."

Pakistan involved in harbouring Taliban militants Antony Blinken gcw
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Washington D.C., First Published Sep 14, 2021, 10:30 AM IST
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The US will examine its relationship with Pakistan in the following weeks, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, to determine what role the US wants to play in Afghanistan's future. Blinken told the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the first public hearing on Afghanistan since the fall of the US-backed Afghan government last month that Pakistan had a "multiplicity of interests, some of which contradict ours."

When asked by legislators if it is time for Washington to reconsider its relationship with Pakistan, Blinken stated that the administration would do so soon. According to Blinken, it includes continuously placing wagers on Afghanistan's future; it is also involved in harbouring Taliban militants. He went on to say that it is also active in other areas of counterterrorism collaboration with us. He further said that the role that Pakistan has played over the last 20 years and the role they'd want to see it play in the following years, and what it would take to accomplish that.

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The US departure from Afghanistan ended in a hurriedly arranged evacuation that left thousands of US-allied Afghans behind and was marked by a suicide bombing outside Kabul's airport, which killed 13 US personnel and hundreds of Afghans. In the aftermath of the Taliban's triumph, the United States and Western nations are caught in a delicate balancing act, hesitant to acknowledge the Islamist organisation while recognising the fact that they will have to deal with them to avert a humanitarian disaster.

Pakistan has long maintained links with the Taliban and has been accused of aiding the organisation while it fought the US-backed government in Kabul for the last two decades, allegations that Islamabad denies. It is also regarded as one of the two nations having the most influence over the Taliban, along with Qatar, and a location where many top Taliban officials were reported to have fled following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

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